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American Tourists Stranded While Chaos Swirls In Peru; El Paso Officials See 2,000-Plus Migrants Crossing Border Daily; January 6th Committee Expected To Announce Criminal Referrals Of Trump; Hospitals Struggle Under Weight Of Flu, RSV And COVID-19; Elon Musk Reinstates Several Journalists After Backlash; Elon Musk Reinstates Several Journalists After Criticism; More Athletes Speak Out on Struggles with Anxiety and Depression. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired December 17, 2022 - 19:00   ET



PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: A bucket list moment just hours after helping his Phoenix Suns defeat the Los Angeles Clippers, Paul received his Bachelor's Degree in Communications from Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina. His fellow grads were happy to be in the same graduating class as the NBA star, especially because Paul is giving each of his fellow grads an investment account funded with $100 and fees waived for the first year.

Well, more athletes they are going public with a topic that used to be taboo, mental health. Still ahead, one athlete quits the game he loves at just 22 years old. So we're going to take a broader look at athletes, anxiety and what it means for all of us.

The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.

I'm Pamela Brown in Washington.

The top stories for you on this Saturday night. Waiting for rescue. Tourists in Peru caught in the chaos of a political crisis that has shut down the country.

Plus, U.S. cities brace for a wave of migrants crossing the border as a critical policy ends in just days from now.

And inflation. A stubborn problem impacting nearly every part of Americans' lives, even their love lives. We're going to dig in to how inflation is changing the ritual of first dates.

You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Well, Americans abroad and in limbo. In Peru, evacuations have apparently stalled again for hundreds of tourists left stranded in the ancient city of Machu Picchu. Dozens of Americans are among them. Trains to the remote city have been suspended because of violent protests erupting across the country after the ousting of its president.

CNN's Rafael Romo has the latest. (BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

MICHAEL REINER, AMERICAN STUCK IN PERU: We were out a few times when some of the initial protests were beginning.

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): It was the trip he had been looking forward to. Michael Reiner, an American tourist lives in Washington, D.C., says he was very excited about traveling to Peru with another seven Americans, friends from college and others.

REINER: We arrived in Lima last Thursday night. We left Friday morning from Lima to Cusco. And then from there we spent three days in Urubamba, which is part of the sacred valley between Machu Picchu and Cusco.

ROMO: But the fun trip to an exotic location came to a screeching halt Monday when they realized all of a sudden the whole country was in turmoil and their safety was no longer guaranteed.

REINER: To be a tourist in a country where there's political unrest taking place before our eyes is a whole new way of experiencing a country.

ROMO: Deadly protests around Peru have rocked the South American country for more than a week after former President Pedro Castillo tried to dissolve Congress. Lawmakers responded by impeaching him and the Attorney General put him in jail, accusing him of conspiracy and rebellion which prompted thousands of his supporters to violently take to the streets. Eight provinces throughout the country are now under curfew but Lima, the capital, is not included so far.

In addition, to regular Peruvians the chaos is having a severe impact on hundreds, if not thousands, of international tourists who are stranded in Peru right now. People like John Royer, an American from Baltimore who is traveling with his girlfriend and currently stuck in Cusco.

JOHN ROYER, AMERICAN STUCK IN PERU: My girlfriend was in the restaurant, and then all of a sudden we heard whistleblowing, and all the shops started slamming their doors and everybody ran off the street or able to get into the shops.

ROMO: Every year, thousands of foreign tourists are drawn to world famous sites like the Machu Picchu Inca citadel. The problem right now is that many of them are trapped in different cities because some airports are closed and they can't take flights to make a connection in Lima to leave the country.

REINER: There's something bigger happening here than just our travel experience. And having been to many parts of South America, I know that the priority should be with supporting the Peruvian people.

ROMO: President Dina Boluarte declared a state of emergency Wednesday hoping that some of the measures like banning large gatherings and suspending some personal freedoms would bring an end to the chaos.

Rafael Romo, CNN, Atlanta.


BROWN: And we've been planning to speak to one of the American tourists trapped in Machu Picchu tonight but in a measure of just how chaotic things are in Peru right now, we haven't been able to get in touch. This is what she had to say about her ordeal, the conversation with CNN's Alisyn Camerota.


KATHRYN MARTUCCI, AMERICAN STRANDED IN PERU: What we know is that there's four helicopters. We do not know the capacity of the helicopters. And we do not know if they're making more than one run.


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: I mean, so, Kathryn, all that is nerve- racking, I can imagine. And so you are one of the tourists who is out of medication. You all were told that you were going for, you know, two days, which is the typical amount of time to get up and down from Machu Picchu. So you packed very lightly. How dicey is your medical situation today?

MARTUCCI: It's not life-threatening, but the withdrawal from the medication itself has challenges. So to abruptly stop taking this medication is an issue. I don't have any more. I do have some in Cusco. So if I get to Cusco, I'll be good. But they do not have that medication here. Some of our group members have hypertension. And they were able to get their medication here in Machu Picchu, at the hospital.


BROWN: And over the phone this afternoon, Kathryn Martucci told us that she was not helicoptered out of Machu Picchu this morning as planned. She was searching for other travel options. We hope that she is doing OK and gets back to her home soon.

And here in the U.S., American border towns are seeing the surge of migrants streaming in from Mexico. And those numbers could soon swell even more. A federal appeals court has rejected a bid by several Republican-led states to continue Title 42, which is due to expire in just four days. Title 42 is a Trump-era policy that allowed authorities to immediately expel migrants for health reasons because of the pandemic.

CNN's Gustavo Valdes is across the border from El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

So, Gustavo, what are you seeing there?

GUSTAVO VALDES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Pam, let me show you what's happening right now. You see that big bus behind me. They just picked up about 30 migrants that were waiting there. The process now is actually very fast. We've seen all day a small group of people crossed this shallow part of the Rio Grande. They go wait there and depending on the resources available on the U.S. side, they are taking with them no more than 15, 20 minutes. That is preventing the image we had a few days ago of thousands of people waiting out here. Now they are being processed a lot faster.

What I have noticed is like this group were about 30 people. I have seen groups of up to 100 just today. I wouldn't be surprised if Border Patrol in the U.S. side releases the numbers for today and it would be at least 1,000 people who crossed from this point, not counting other entries along this side of the border.

You can see the river here is shallow. That's the main area where people are crossing. And also today it was a little warmer. The mornings are very cold, but people are lining up with the hope that soon they will be able to cross.

BROWN: Yes. And, you know, it does make you wonder as we see these visuals, are the migrants even aware of this policy? What is driving their journey?

VALDES: So the reasons for them to come here are many. But they are keenly aware of Title 42, especially the Venezuelans. Many of them have gotten to the gate and the Border Patrol agents they tell me have told them to wait until Wednesday because that's when this policy of fast deportation would end. So many of them are waiting. And according to city officials, there are thousands of them waiting here in Ciudad Juarez.

Some say that they don't care. They just want to go and turn themselves in because they don't know if it's not Title 42 they might come up with another policy that might prevent them from going in. Many of them know that the risk is that if they are deported they might be sent back to their countries. And many don't like that idea.

BROWN: All right. Gustavo Valdes, thanks so much for your reporting there in Mexico.

Well, the January 6th Select Committee appears ready to criminally refer former President Donald Trump to the Justice Department. And that is not all, a source telling CNN the panel is also set to ask the DOJ to consider charges of obstructing an official proceeding and conspiracy to defraud the federal government. A new chapter in this legal saga for the former president.

So with us now to talk about this and what it all means is former federal prosecutor and now defense attorney Shan Wu.

All right, so let's break this down first of all. If Merrick Garland, the attorney general, gets these referrals, what would the next steps be?

SHAN WU, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, the next steps in this case is probably to punt them over to Jack Smith, who is the special counsel, because he would be the person who is really serving as the head of the January 6th investigations right now, as well as the Mar-a-Lago ones. They would then look at this I think with a bit more deference than they usually do with congressional referrals because a lot of the times referrals come over, when I was at DOJ, and we're kind of like, OK, that's nice.


But this is a massive investigation that the committee has undertook. Huge amounts of evidence, huge amount of witnesses being identified. And I think it's the detail that accompanies the referrals themselves and the report that will give a roadmap to DOJ. DOJ has been kind of late to this party. And they are playing catchup. But that detail could be very helpful to them and will put a lot of pressure on them as well.

BROWN: Yes. I want to talk a little bit more about that. Because you've got Jack Smith, the special counsel. He's already off running with this probe, right, we know that. We're hearing that there could be additional charges proposed by the committee. Could this referral jam up the DOJ's work at this point? Does it politicize the DOJ's work, creating a perception that perhaps DOJ is pressured by this committee, although it is bipartisan?

WU: Right. I don't think it will jam up their work. They have to get there anyway. And it should provide them at the very least with some additional evidence or leads that they may need to follow. But they'd have to go there anyways. So I don't think that aspect will jam them up. But politicize it? Merrick Garland and Jack Smith are in this position of damned if you do, damned if you don't. It's already heavily politicized.

I think the problem here for Merrick Garland is that he's tried to insulate the department by appointing a special counsel. That act in and of itself was viewed to be a political act. And the amount of detail that's going to come out in this report is going to make it very, very difficult for him or Jack Smith to actually decline to prosecute because the public has been educated. There's going to be a lot of details. It's going to be a question for them of picking and choosing what is something they really think they can get convictions on. The ones they don't choose or the ones they do choose will be very heavily politicized.

BROWN: Yes. So then which of these charges that the committee is expected to refer to DOJ carries the most weight legally?

WU: I think probably it's the incitement of the insurrection I think is likely to carry a lot of weight.

BROWN: Really?

WU: And certainly, the obstruction of the official proceeding carries a lot of weight. Those are very different. Different pieces of proof. The insurrection, you probably need more of a link to Trump himself. But as a former prosecutor, one thing I would be thinking about is how to explain this best to a jury. So there is a huge amount of legal analysis that they're doing. Lots of commentators and analysts are doing it about which type of charge would really fit these facts. But you also have to step back and think, how do I explain this to a

jury? What's going to make sense to them. Obstructing the proceeding, insurrection, seditious conspiracy. Those are the kinds of things you really have to think about because you're going to have to prove that and talk to people about it.

BROWN: Yes. It's a reminder, even though you might think someone did something you have to have the evidence to back it up, to prove beyond a reasonable doubt they did commit a crime.

Shan Wu, thanks for your analyst. We appreciate it.

And remember to join me and the rest of our CNN team for a special coverage of the January 6th Committee's final public meeting. That is beginning at noon Eastern on Monday.

And still ahead for you on this Saturday night, pediatric hospitals under strain, juggling a series of different respiratory viruses. We're going to hear from one doctor seeing this impact firsthand.

Plus, Ukraine's president says his country still faces, quote, big problems with their water supply after a new wave of brutal Russian attacks.

And Argentina versus France. Two powerhouse teams with A-list stars on the field. We're going to have a preview of tomorrow's epic World Cup Final.



BROWN: Well, new numbers out this week are giving us a better picture of the state of health in this country and a cause for concern. More than 10 percent of deaths in the U.S. last week were due to influenza, COVID-19 or pneumonia, both bacterial and viral. That is well above expected levels for this time of year. And right now the Department of Health and Human Services says 80 percent of U.S. hospital beds are occupied, many of them by people with a respiratory virus.

But this situation is especially dire for pediatric hospitals. Joining us now is Dr. Erica Michiels, the director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Welcome, Doctor. So the number of cases you're seeing in your ER is astronomical, almost double the usual average. Is that right?

DR. ERICA MICHIELS, DIRECTOR, PEDIATRIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE, HELEN DEVOS CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: Yes. We have been running about 170 percent of usual volume since about mid-October. And our in-patient spaces have been at or above capacity since that time.

BROWN: So what are you seeing the most of? Is it RSV? Is it the flu? Which virus is causing the most trouble right now? MICHIELS: Well, it was RSV. And we are starting to see RSV numbers

slightly decline. And the flu numbers are just straight up. So we're gaining positive tests on that every day.

BROWN: I'm just wondering, have vaccinations made a difference at all in some of the kids you're seeing who have been really impacted by the flu, for example?

MICHIELS: So we know that the flu vaccine is a good match this year from the CDC. Unfortunately the uptick of flu vaccine in our population is very low this year. And so not as many people are being helped by the flu vaccine as could be.

BROWN: That's interesting. So part of this, my understanding, is because a lot of children haven't been exposed to common viruses these past couple of years, right? So their immune system may be a little out of working order, I guess you could say.

MICHIELS: Well, unfortunately, you have a large group of kids who haven't had as much exposure.


So this generally is the worst in the very youngest of children but because there have been now multiple years where fewer children have been exposed, they're kind of all coming at us at once. We also have had relatively low COVID numbers over the past several months. And so RSV and influenza haven't had any competition. And so they are really spiking.

BROWN: I want to ask about strep A because it caught my attention as a parent how much it is rising and concerning it is for kids. So tell us about how that is factoring into what you are seeing.

MICHIELS: So that haven't increased emergency department volume significantly. However, it is something that we have to really think about because we are seeing invasive disease with strep A. And that can be especially troublesome if you also have an influenza or an RSV infection. We are seeing increased hospitalization with kids who have systemic illness or, you know, specifically developing abscesses or other surgical problems in their throat due to that infection.

BROWN: So this is interesting. Something that I did not know until doing this segment, that there is a factor in some U.S. hospitals that is contributing all to this, and that is that some hospitals have cut back on pediatric beds. Why is that? Is it because it's more profitable to treat adult patients? What's going on there?

MICHIELS: Well, I think as children's hospitals have grown and spread across the country, you try to cohort your patients where the most experience is. And so in some ways it's just been natural, right. Our hospital started only 10 years ago here in Grand Rapids. And after that period of time the community hospitals around us started to see fewer and fewer children because people naturally selected to come downtown to the children's hospital. Then you lose experience in those regional hospitals and you lose

numbers. And so it has somewhat been a natural progression where the experience is really concentrated where the pediatric hospitals are located.

BROWN: All right, Dr. Erica Michiels, thanks for sharing all of your experience right now at the pediatric hospital there in Michigan. We appreciate it.

And still ahead for you on this Saturday night, CEO Elon Musk offers the journalists he suddenly suspended from Twitter recently a certain condition for them to return to the platform. We're going to speak to one of the journalists who agree up next.



BROWN: Well, Elon Musk is seemingly backing down and bringing back journalists he kicked off Twitter this week. But there is a condition. The platform CEO now says he's going to allow them to resume tweeting if they delete tweets people click when shared his exact real-time location. CNN's Donie O'Sullivan was one journalist who found his account suspended and he says he plans to appeal.

Another was Aaron Rupar. He joins us now.

So, Aaron, we spoke last night. Now your account is back online. Tell us about your decision here. You chose to remove the tweet in question and not fight the suspension. Why is that?

AARON RUPAR, INDEPENDENT JOURNALIST WHOSE ACCOUNT WAS SUSPENDED: Well, for me it wasn't even really a question. And I actually respect Donie for trying to making the decision that he made to try and appeal this. I don't really get the sense at this point that Twitter is a rules- based company. So I'll be interested to see how that plays out.

But I guess in my line of work doing a lot of video work, there have been numerous instances in the past where tweets of mine have been flagged because, like for instance, I'll have a clip from a Trump rally where there'll be music playing before -- you know, music playing in the background. And there have been times where Sony has flagged those for copyright violations and my account has gotten locked until I delete those.

So I guess I kind of viewed that as just sort of a matter of course of being on Twitter. But, you know, I certainly understand the thought here that there really wasn't a good reason to lock anybody's account in the first place for linking to a Facebook page that tracks Elon's jet, which is why I was initially suspended. But when I logged on last night they basically said, you know, if you delete this tweet, we will reactivate your account.

It seemed like a pretty easy call because this tweet that got me in trouble was really kind of a throwaway tweet. I didn't have a lot of principle at stake here. But I do commend people who are taking the other path and trying to appeal this and fight it out on principle.

BROWN: Does it concern you, though, that this is a slippery slope? That, you know -- and, again, we should note to our viewers, this is a private company. Private companies can do whatever they want. They are not bound by the First Amendment in the way the government is and preventing government censorship. But where is the line? Because as you noted this really was -- this was not exactly a tweet sharing exactly his real-time location and yet you had to like take it down to get back on. Where is the line?

RUPAR: That's a really good question. I'm not quite sure where that line is. I mean, I'm very dismayed that Linette Lopez at "Insider" appears to be suspended just because she's done investigative reporting about Tesla that portrayed Elon's companies in a harsh light, and so that to me in some ways even sets a more dangerous precedent than my case or these other journalists who have suspended over this Facebook link because at least there's the pretense of some sort of principle at play here.


So you know, I am very concerned about where Twitter is headed, and if we are headed down a path where Elon Musk as the owner is just going to start banning journalists, you know, for kind of arbitrary reasons or because he doesn't like them.

So I think you know, you're right to express that concern about a slippery slope. It's hard to predict where things are headed. I mean, if you would have told me three days ago that I would be doing multiple TV hits over the weekend because my Twitter account was suspended over a tweet linking to the Elon Jet Facebook page, I wouldn't have believed that.

So I guess we'll see what we're -- what's in store for us this week. It's hard to predict.

BROWN: Yes, definitely a new era over there on Twitter. Aaron Rupar, thanks for coming on.

And just ahead for you in the CNN NEWSROOM on this Saturday, a dramatic escape for one tourist stranded in Peru, hiking 18 miles to get out of a dangerous situation, but still trying to find a way out of the country.

I'm going to speak to her live, up next.



BROWN: Turning back to one of our top stories tonight, tourists in Peru in peril and struggling to find a way to leave the country, which is night now as we speak paralyzed by political chaos.

Our next guest had to go on an 18-mile trek with 150 other people to find transportation and to try to find a way back to her hotel there. She has clearly made it back to that hotel after what I imagine, Amy Madden has been an arduous, exhausting journey for you, and you're still there. You're still trapped in Peru, we should note.

So tell us, bring us back to the beginning, right? You're on a hike in Peru. You knew there could be some protests, but you're on this long hike, you don't have cell reception. Then you get to Machu Picchu. What happens?

AMY MADDEN, AMERICAN TOURIST STUCK IN PERU: We got to Machu Picchu, and much to our surprise, it was completely empty. There was nobody there. They average about 5,000 tourists a day, and we were one of one group of about maybe three or four groups that were there.

So we did a quick tour, and then we quickly realized that there were no trains running, no buses running, the roads were all blocked off. So we had to hitch a ride down to the nearest town, Aguascalientes.

We spent the night there kind of not knowing what was going to happen next, because we were supposed to take the train, and basically no answers were given to us.

So we all decided to walk or rather hike along a rail yard for 80 miles to the closest town that could give us a road away out of there.

BROWN: Wow. Okay. So you hitch a ride to another town, you walk 18 miles. At one point, you're in a truck, and there's a roadblock. What happens at that roadblock?

MADDEN: Yes, so we got to town. We got onto a bus, got stopped at a roadblock, and we were told we needed to get out of the vehicle. And when we got out of the vehicle, we looked to our right and saw about a hundred or so men and women running towards us.

And there was one man with a scythe in his hand, and they went straight to the bus driver and they started beating him, attacking him, and they slit all four of his tires. So we kind of just stood there expecting, we thought we were in danger, but we ended up making a run for it and they actually did not approach us at all. So...

BROWN: That must have been terrifying. To be at a roadblock, you see a hundred people rushing towards you, you see one with a weapon and not know what their intent was.

MADDEN: Yes. Exactly. And I think we quickly realized once they were swarming the bus driver that we weren't in imminent danger, I would say, but we definitely realized we needed to get away from that situation because...

BROWN: But then, what did you do after that? Because that was your ride, right? I mean, that was a form of transportation. There weren't any other options. What did you do?

MADDEN: That was one of our rides, and we were supposed to connect to like our official tour bus. So we ended up having to run through the village where the people were running towards us. We ran through about 25 to 30 minutes, and we got to a safe spot.

It was an additional blockade where somewhere, another tour bus met us like in a hidden area. So yes, they picked us up from there in this official tour bus and we ended up being transported safely.

BROWN: So what about just like your basic necessities? I mean, you had been on a hike, so clearly you probably had some food on you. But there has been a lot of reporting about the food shortages and issues around that and medication and so forth. What are like some of the struggles been for you on this journey?

MADDEN: Aguascalientes, we didn't necessarily have any food or water shortages. Everything seemed to be okay. Basic necessities, we only carried four days' worth of supplies because we were on a 26-mile trek to Machu Picchu.

So I was running well on my medications personally. So, just that unknown of like, when are we going to get to Cusco? Like we really had no idea. So yes, it was really scary.

BROWN: It's really scary. I mean, you're in a foreign country, too. There's probably all kinds of people around you speaking different languages. You don't know what's going on, when you're going to get back to your hotel. You made it back. Where do things stand now on you getting out of the country?


MADDEN: So last night, all of me and six other of my tour group members, we were all trying to find connecting flights out of Cusco to get to Lima, so that we can get home. But there have -- it's been very, very difficult to get flights.

Luckily, Delta has helped me reroute my flight through, so I leave Monday night, hopefully. But if the protests pick back up on Monday, they think it might get worse on Monday, they might have to reclose the airport. So it's just still -- I'm just hoping for the best.

BROWN: Right. I'm impressed you're holding together and could even do this interview. I just can't imagine all the emotions you're experiencing being over there.

Do you feel the US Embassy is doing enough to get Americans out of the country?

MADDEN: You know, I talked to them this morning and they had deployed actually today four helicopters to get down to Aguascalientes for today, but the four helicopters only held six to seven people each, and when I talked to them today, they basically told me I was kind of on my own as far as finding a flight, and they've told me it is safest to shelter in place until I can find a safe means of transportation back to Lima.

BROWN: That's never what you want to hear "You're on your own" in a situation like this with me. Well, Amy Madden, we feel for you and we hope that you get home soon and safely and thanks for coming on to share the crazy chaotic experience you've been having there in Peru.

Best of luck to you, Amy.

MADDEN: Yes, thanks so much for having me.

BROWN: Well, a rising player in the NBA just 22 years old says he is retiring from the game, citing his anxiety. We're going to discuss the impact of a seemingly growing number of athletes now being open about their mental health.



BROWN: Stress and anxiety are a part of sports, whether it's a field goal, a Hail Mary pass, or a game-ending strikeout, winning or losing often comes down to one player. And recently, more and more athletes have been speaking out about their struggles off the field.

Tyrell Terry, a 2021st round draft pick up the Dallas Mavericks has announced his retirement from basketball at age 22 citing anxiety. He called it "the darkest times of his life" while describing the stress the sport caused him.

And other players have spoken about similar struggles including Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, tennis star Naomi Osaka and the NBA's Kevin Love.

I want to bring in Dr. Andrew Jacobs, a sports psychologist to talk a little bit more about this. First of all, I think this is just so important that more athletes are being more open about this and not just keeping it inside, but why do you think this is? Why do you think we're seeing more athletes go public with their mental health struggles?

DR. ANDREW JACOBS, SPORTS PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, first, thanks for having me, Pamela.

You know, Kevin Love a few years ago at an anxiety attack in an NBA game. They didn't know what it was. He ended up in the hospital for this to determine he was having an anxiety attack. They thought there was something physically wrong with him.

And from that he's become a spokesman now. He has sort of opened the door for us to realize that athletes are people. They're not any different than anybody else. They have feelings, they have emotions, they deal with stress.

And over the last several years, you mentioned, Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles, we're seeing more and more people now come out. Michael Phelps has talked extensively about his alcohol and all the issues he has had, personally.

So we're seeing the discussions now about athletes being people, they have the same emotions the rest of us do. But you know, they're in the spotlight, just like you are, you are in a public spotlight, and an athlete is expected to be perfect at everything they do.

But athletes aren't perfect. I deal with this all the time in my practice. Young athletes come in here talk about "I've got to be perfect if I want to get to the next level." No, you don't. You have to learn how to fail, how to deal with negatives, anxiety, pressure, stressors, and learn to handle those things as part of your success and failure.

BROWN: Yes, it is interesting. I was speaking to this a world-renowned ballerina the other day, who has since retired and just about the stress that she had gone through, and she had a good perspective.

She said, you know, there is this constant pressure to be better, but it is important to look at it as not coming from a deficit, but really coming from a point of confidence. But there is tremendous pressure all the way around, that is unique to sports that athletes deal with.

Tell us a little bit more about that kind of pressure specific to them.

JACOBS: Well today with social media, and the advancement in social media, it has put tremendous expectation -- high expectations on young athletes all the way down to high school, and so whatever they do in their athletic world is seen everywhere, and so people will comment on it.

I work with a number of NFL players, professional athletes. I tell them all to get off social media when they're competing, because the problem is, if they miss a kick, strikeout, miss a shot, everyone is going to tell them how awful they are. If they make it, everybody is going to tell how great they are.

The problem is that those people don't know them. They don't know them as a person. They don't know their feelings, their emotions, and they've got to deal with all these things.

And I think today with how social media has put tremendous pressure and expectations on young people, it has caused more and more stress and anxiety.

I want to commend this young man for coming out and saying what he is going through.

BROWN: Hundred percent.

JACOBS: And talking about it, because what he's doing is really a sign of strength rather than weakness as far as I am concerned.


BROWN: A hundred percent, and I love what he said in his statement. He said, look, you might look at me as a failure in basketball, but oftentimes, so-called failures turn into success in other areas of life. And I'm going to turn this into a success in a bigger way.

And I think that that is the right attitude to have, and he is being honest with himself. And the point about social media is really important. Like, for me, I notice a big change in my confidence level, when I stop looking at social media when I do my shows, because it gets in your head, you know.

And so now I've stopped doing that.


BROWN: And I think that's a really important point that the era that these athletes have to operate in now with social media, but you know, for those -- well, most of us are not professional athletes, right? What do we have in common with these athletes when it comes to how we all deal with anxiety?

JACOBS: Well, we're all people, we all have families, we all have relationships, so we have expectations placed on us by the people around us, by the people we deal with, and by ourselves.

And I think it's really important to understand who is your core group? Who are the core people? The core group of people that support you. And it's like, with young kids, after a game, I always encourage parents, don't ask them, you know, tell them how they played, tell them, you know, I love watching you play, it was great being with you. Give them that support system.

And I think one of the things that we need to do with a lot of young athletes today is teach them about how to fail and how to lose because it's part of what goes on. If we can teach younger athletes how to deal with that as they get older, they wouldn't have the issues as much so as a lot of people have, because we've got to learn how to deal with those things, because we're all going to do it.

BROWN: Right. I think it is also just changing our perspective of what failure is, right? I mean, my dad would always say, you know, failures is just an opportunity to succeed, you know, you should look at it as an experiment. Okay, well, that didn't work so well. Let me figure out another way to do this to succeed, and I think that that mentality is really important.

So wow, Dr. Andrew Jacobs, this is such -- this is an issue we cover a lot on the show, mental health, and it's really good to talk to you and hear your perspective on it. It is so important. Thank you.

JACOBS: Thanks for having me.

BROWN: Still ahead for you on this Saturday night, the price of love. New data on the dating habits of singles, and how they are changing due to inflation.

We'll be right back.



BROWN: As it turns out, nothing is immune to inflation, not even love. CNN's Nathaniel Meyersohn has been reported on how price hikes are changing daily life in America.

So Nathaniel, tell us what you found. How are people changing their dating habits because of inflation?

NATHANIEL MEYERSOHN, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Right, Pam, so people are swapping out those expensive white tablecloth meals for cheaper, more casual dates, and that is because the cost of dating has skyrocketed.

Singles are paying about $130.00 a month on dates, that's up 40 percent from a decade ago. So 84 percent of singles say they're looking for casual dates, 30 percent say they're looking for free dates, 29 percent say they're going on dates closer to home to save on gas.

So ahead of cuffing season this winter, when singles are looking to partner up, they are looking for cheaper dates.

BROWN: All right, so what about video dates? I mean, tell us about that. I've got to be honest, that's kind of a new concept for me. That wasn't around when I was back in the dating world. Is that a popular thing?

MEYERSOHN: So early in the pandemic, people got really used to video dates because they were stuck inside, and that has continued even though people are back out there.

So 37 percent of singles say they're open to video dates, and that's up from eight percent pre pandemic. Singles are using these first video dates to vet candidates and make sure that they actually want to go on a date with them in person and spend the time and energy.

BROWN: I guess that makes sense. So, how are dating apps faring due to inflation?

MEYERSOHN: Right, so dating apps are a little bit inflation proof. People are still subscribing to them. They still want to find connections on them.

People are changing the way they're using them a little bit though. They're not paying for as many of these profile boosters and other things you can pay for within the app to try to get more likes, but we do see younger users especially kind of not doing this as much, but the dating apps -- Bumble, Hinge -- they are still doing very well.

BROWN: All right, Nathaniel Meyersohn, thanks so much.

And tomorrow night, an all-new "This is Life," Lisa Ling meets three different interracial couples that took the leap and explores a story of their lives and loves in a divided country.


LISA LING, CNN HOST, "THIS IS LIFE" (voice over): After dating for four years, Bill and Shayna began to talk about getting married and starting a family, and that's what Shayna laid out with the future of a union like theirs could look like. BILL: Shayna had brought it to my attention, you know, like there are going to be challenges.

SHAYNA: I would explain to him if you have Black children, people are going to perceive them a certain way and treat them a certain way because as a Black person, we don't get the benefit of being perceived as an individual. We are perceived as being a part of a group, whether that's you all have criminal behavior or whether you're not intelligent, that can happen.

So are you prepared to push back and deal with that?

LING (voice over): Bill was sure they could weather any storm.


BROWN: Don't miss "This is Life" with Lisa Ling, Sunday night at 9:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.