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Ron DeSantis' Presidential Bid Announcement on Twitter Experienced Delays; Negotiators Scrambling for the Debt Ceiling Deal; Singer Tina Turner Dies at 83; Chinese Hackers Target Crisis Communications; Uvalde Commemorates One Year after the Mass Shooting; Typhoon Mawar Leaves Guam with Minor Injuries, Major Damages. Aired 3- 4a ET
Aired May 25, 2023 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and a very warm welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Paula Newton. Ahead right here on "CNN Newsroom."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm Ron DeSantis and I'm running for President to lead our great American comeback.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Ron DeSantis makes it official, but his unconventional announcement filled with delays and glitches has many asking, did he win over any voters? Plus --
One year has come and gone since the deadly massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. 19 fourth graders and two teachers mercilessly slaughtered by a gunman. We'll look at America's public health crisis with gun violence. And --
Remembering an entertainment and music legend, Tina Turner, dead at the age of 83.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Live from CNN Center, this is "CNN Newsroom" with Paula Newton.
NEWTON: And so we begin with the race for the White House and rough start for the latest Republican to announce his candidacy, Ron DeSantis.
The Florida governor started Wednesday evening's launch posting a campaign video on Twitter saying he's running for president to lead the great American comeback. But his live Twitter conversation with Elon Musk was fraught with glitches and delays. DeSantis' team tried to put a positive spin on things, tweeting, it seems we broke the internet with so much excitement. Here's what DeSantis had to say once the technical difficulties were sorted out.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DESANTIS: To voters who are participating in this primary process, my pledge to you is this. If you nominate me, you can set your clock to January 20th, 2025 at high noon, because on the west side of the U.S. Capitol, I will be taking the oath of office as the 47th President of the United States. No excuses. I will get the job done.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
NEWTON: DeSantis' political rivals were quick to criticize. President Joe Biden posted a fundraising tweet for his reelection campaign saying, this link works. DeSantis appeared on Fox a short time later. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DESANTIS: We had a huge audience. It did. It was the biggest they'd ever had. It did break the Twitter space. And so we're really excited with the enthusiasm.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: More now from CNN's Jessica Dean.
DESANTIS: Do you go with the crowd or do you look at the data yourself and cut against the grain? And I chose to do the latter.
JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' attempt to declare his candidacy for president in a unique way with Twitter owner Elon Musk on Twitter Spaces, an audio-only platform plagued by technical issues at the start.
DESANTIS: So they just keep crashing, huh?
ELON MUSK, TWITTER OWNER: Yeah, I think we've got just a massive number of people online, so it's sort of constraining somewhat.
DEAN (voice-over): But server issues caused the rollout to be plagued with problems with team DeSantis tweeting, quote, "it seems we broke the internet with so much excitement. While you're waiting, donate now."
DESANTIS: We must look forward, not backwards. We need the courage to lead and we must have the strength to win.
DEAN (voice-over): DeSantis also asked about the NAACP issuing a travel advisory against his state claiming Florida is not safe for minorities to visit. DESANTIS: Claiming that Florida is unsafe is a total farce. I mean, are you kidding me?
DEAN (voice-over): Wednesday's Twitter event, the latest move in DeSantis' presidential campaign rollout. He filed paperwork earlier Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission. On Tuesday, DeSantis' wife, Casey, tweeted a hype video encouraging supporters to sign up for campaign updates.
DESANTIS: America has been worth it every single time.
DEAN (voice-over): DeSantis jumps in the Republican primary following months of speculation about the Florida governor's political future, fueled by a national book tour and visits to key early nominating states.
DESANTIS: I have only begun to fight.
DEAN (voice-over): As the Republican primary fight intensifies, a new CNN poll shows former President Donald Trump leading the GOP field, with roughly double the support of DeSantis and no other candidate in double figures. But the survey also finds the Republican field to be far from settled. More than eight in 10 of those polled said they'd either support or say they're open to considering either Trump or DeSantis.
DESANTIS: We have to reject the culture of losing that has infected our party in recent years. We have no more time for excuses.
DEAN (voice-over): DeSantis and Trump have appeared to be on a collision course for months, with the former president launching repeated attacks against the Florida governor.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: DeSantis is very low and crashing. He's crashing and burning.
DEAN (voice-over): But DeSantis has been intentional in not directly attacking Trump, instead using his speeches around the country to draw contrast.
DESANTIS: I don't have time for drama. I don't have time for powerless intrigue, I want to make sure that we're executing the agenda. And you know what's happened over the last four years? We don't have leaks. We don't have drama. All we do is get the job done day after day.
DEAN (on-camera): Up next, Governor DeSantis will gather here in Miami with some of his biggest donors and bundlers as they really hope to make the most of this announcement. They're already working with an unprecedented $100 million in his war chest, but they are seeking to amplify this, amplify that number out of this announcement.
So we are expecting that number to grow in the days to come. We're also expecting to see him hit the campaign trail early and aggressively. We are expecting to see him in those early states in the coming days where he will rally with supporters all across the country.
Jessica Dean, CNN, Miami, Florida.
NEWTON: -- Desantis on his Truth Social platform asking followers, is the DeSantis' launch fatal? Yes.
Meanwhile a new CNN poll asked Republican and Republican-leaning voters who they support for president 53 percent favor Trump, 26 percent say DeSantis. Now I spoke earlier with CNN senior political analyst John Avalon and I asked him what the impact of those technical difficulties in Governor DeSantis' Twitter announcement would have possibly on his candidacy. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: You want to reward candidates for taking risks, but you also can't, you know, have a totally failed launch and then just simply blame the equipment.
I mean, this wasn't, you know, this was Twitter couldn't handle the interest, but it wasn't that high a number. It was just botched. And it was sort of bizarre from the giddy-up, because, you know, it was a audio-only launch, so to speak. And, you know, Caris Wisher last night on CNN predicted it might crash.
But more than that it was, you know, this is the first chance to, you know, don't get a second chance to make a first impression. And while he got around once the glitches were fixed to sort of lay out his case in conversation with Elon Musk, you know, there's something called the orchestra pit theory, which is that if the candidate falls into an orchestra pit, it doesn't matter what they say before or after. People are going to talk about the orchestra pit. And that's what happened.
NEWTON: Yeah, and we're talking about this kind of a stage, right, where Donald Trump and Joe Biden then get to troll you. That's the kind of stage we're talking about here. It really is extraordinary. I'm gonna get to a CNN poll in a minute where we're gonna talk about it, but I just have to ask you right off the bat, when you see what's gone on, how much do you think this will impact him as a candidate? Because some people are brushing this off and just saying, it doesn't really matter that much.
AVLON: Look, it's not determinative. You know, you can absolutely say there's nowhere to go but up. But the fact is that DeSantis has been falling in the polls for several months. He wanted to wait until the Florida legislative session got done.
Trump has taken advantage of that by softening him up and ads like devastatingly effective ads like this pudding ad, which is kind of infamous for people who've been paying attention.
But look, he's got a strong case to make. He was broadly reelected as governor in Florida. He has been focusing really on playing to the base with policies that play better probably with a national Republican electorate than maybe many folks in Florida. But he has remained popular and folks keep moving to his state. So until those trends change, you know, people might not like the policies in liberal communities or moderate communities.
But he is tapping in to that (inaudible) guys very intentionally.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Now, the global deadlock over raising the U.S. government's debt ceiling could cost the United States its perfect AAA rating. Credit ratings, ABC Fitch, a place in the U.S. on what it calls ratings watch negative.
It says it still believes there would be a resolution before it becomes a (inaudible) of what Janet Yellen says, the Treasury Secretary to the first. Now, the White House calls the pitch warning one more piece of evidence that default is not an option. And all responsible lawmakers understand that.
Now, it reinforces the need for Congress to quickly and a reasonable bipartisan agreement to prevent default. The Biden administration and House Republicans remain far apart following the latest round of talks.
KEVIN MCCARTHY, U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER: I think we've made some progress working down there. So that's very positive.
UNKNOWN: You said this week you need to have a deal this week in order to avoid default.
MCCARTHY: Yes, I still believe that, yeah. And I still believe we have time to make an agreement and get it done.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It was eight days from potential default. Everything is riding on just a small group of negotiators, negotiators who met for more than four hours at the White House on Wednesday. And that venue is actually a shift.
Negotiators had been meeting White House officials and House Republican point people, had been meeting on Capitol Hill trying to hammer out some kind of an agreement, and it had been a roller coaster up till today.
Today, there's nothing. No comments, no attacks, no real sense of what's actually happening at the moment. And when you talk to officials, they underscore, that's actually a good thing. One official told me, quote, "we're working, and that's all you need to know."
And that's kind of the reality at this moment because the timeline is exceedingly short, the path forward to try and prevent a default, given how far apart the two sides have been when it comes to raising the debt limit, to finding some kind of budget agreement.
Well, it's exceedingly short, and there's a lot of work to do. There's no question about that, but there is also a very clear sense after the meetings throughout the day on Wednesday that there has been progress. Not a deal, not a final agreement, and they certainly need one sooner rather than later, that progress was important and it underscored what White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said while the meeting was still ongoing. Take a listen.
KARINE JEAN PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: What I can say is that the negotiations have been productive, which is what matters. The conversations continue, which is what matters. And the focus is on what the leaders said themselves, what Speaker McCarthy and what the President said as well, which is the fault is off the table.
We're going to continue to negotiate in good faith. And if that is what occurs, then we can get to a bipartisan reasonable negotiation or deal on a budget deal.
MATTINGLY: So the real question right now is, where do negotiators go from here? Now, notably, one member of the Republican negotiating team, Patrick McHenry, a congressman from North Carolina, actually stayed after his colleagues left, went into the White House, was working on several other issues that I'm told, whether or not that actually got them closer to a final agreement remains an open question at this point in time. But again, to some degree, the silence is actually a good sign, particularly after the broad sides over the course of the last several days.
Productive was one description a couple days ago, then things went south, back up again, then south again. There is one sense when you talk to lawmakers and White House officials alike that they understand there's no more time for posturing, there's no more time for (inaudible) they need to come together and figure something out, whether or not they can figure out a way to reconcile two very different visions on spending, two very different visions on other elements that should be in this deal. That remains an open question, one they don't have much time to answer.
Phil Matting, CNN, The White House.
NEWTON: Still to come for us, the Texas community of Uvalde mourns and pays tribute to the victims one year after the shooting that claimed 21 lives.
Plus, weeks after a drone attack on the Kremlin, U.S. intelligence is indicating Ukrainians may have been responsible. The details in a live report just ahead. Plus --
Remembering the one and only Tina Turner, many called her the queen of rock and roll, but to her fans, she was much more than that.
NEWTON: Her voice was just unmistakable. Tina Turner, one of the greatest and most powerful performers of her generation, has died. She was 83. This song, "The Best," was just one of the many chart toppers that catapulted her to global stardom in the 1980s. Now, she made it look effortless, but getting there was a long and difficult journey.
CNN's Stephanie Elam looks back at Turner's remarkable reign as the queen of rock and roll.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Proud Mary was one of Tina Turner's signatures, showcasing her unique sound, look, and moves.
TINA TURNER, SINGER: That's my style. I take great songs and turn them into rock and roll songs on stage.
ELAM (voice-over): Icon, survivor, a queen of rock and roll.
Tina Turner began life as Anna Mae Bullock in rural Tennessee. As a teenager she moved to St. Louis where she met rocker Ike Turner.
TURNER: Ike was very good to me when I first started my career. Started to sing weekends with him and we were really close friends.
ELAM (voice-over): The Ike and Tina Turner Revue's first hit came in 1960 with "A Fool in Love," a song they performed on Shindig. They married in 1962 and in 1966 recorded "River Deep, Mountain High."
It was a hit overseas, but flopped in the U.S.
Off-stage, Ike's drug abuse fueled violent outbursts.
TURNER: I had had a lot of violence. Houses burned, cars shot into the lowest that you can think of in terms of violence.
ELAM (voice-over): After years of physical and emotional abuse, Tina left Ike in the mid-70s with nothing but her name, at one point relying on food stamps to survive.
In the early 80s, Turner's cover of "Let's Stay Together" reignited her career.
"Private Dancer" followed in 1984. A runaway critical and commercial success. The album featured her only number one song.
Though she wasn't a fan.
TURNER: I didn't like it. I wasn't accustomed to singing those kind of songs.
ELAM (voice-over): It was also the title of a 1993 film starring Angela Bassett based on Tina's autobiography.
LARRY KING, ANCHOR, LARRY KING LIVE: Did the picture do it justice?
TURNER: Yes, I think in a way I would have liked for them to have had more truth, but according to Disney, it's impossible that people would not have believed the truth.
ELAM (voice-over): Turner herself appeared in movies such as "The Who's Tommy" and "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome." She sang its theme song.
As well as the theme to the James Bond film, "GoldenEye."
One major role she turned down would go to Oprah Winfrey in the color purple.
TURNER: It was too close to my personal life. I had just left such a life and it was too soon to be reminded of.
The "What's Love Got To Do With It" soundtrack gave Turner another hit. Her personal favorite?
TURNER: It was very special because at the time when I got it, no one believed in it but me.
ELAM (voice-over): Turner continued recording and touring into her 80s. But she was honored by the Kennedy Center in 2005 and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo act in 2021, 30 years after her first induction as part of a duo with Ike Turner.
All the while, her Buddhist faith kept her going.
TURNER: The cause you make this lifetime can be the effect of a better life the next lifetime. It will be better and gets better and better.
NEWTON: And as you can imagine, condolences have been pouring in from a who's who of entertainers and celebrities. Mick Jagger called her my wonderful friend and said he'll never forget how she helped him early in his career.
John Oates of Hall & Oates reminisced about her surprise performance with Jagger at the Live Aid in 1985 and said the music world has lost a true queen of soul.
And singer-songwriter Carole King said Turner's life taught women they can be strong, sexy, fearless and be their own person.
Tina Turner, the queen of rock and roll, dead at the age of 83.
And we'll be right back.
(AUDIO CLIP PLAYING)
NEWTON: Ukraine says its air defenses successfully repelled the latest wave of Russian drone attacks. Officials said Thursday morning that Russia launched three dozen drones at targets right across the country. But according to President Zelenskyy, none reached their targets. The Ukrainian Air Force says those targets included the capital, Kyiv, and critical infrastructure on the western side of the country. Meantime, U.S. officials now believe Ukrainians could be behind a drone attack on the Kremlin earlier this month.
Now sources say intercepted communications among Ukrainian officials led to that assessment. But the conclusion is not definitive, and U.S. officials still doubt that President Zelenskyy knew about the attack in advance.
Meantime in Moscow, Russia is denying reports of a fire at the Ministry of Defense building. That's according to state media, who first reported that emergency services were at the scene after a blaze broke out on the balcony. Now local officials say no fire had been detected. But video from Moscow shows smoke surrounding the building, and a woman can be heard complaining about a horrible burning smell. CNN's Clare Sebastian is following the latest developments for us and
joins us now from London. Thanks for being with us, Clare. Yeah, the old nothing to see here move along doesn't quite cut it when CNN is reporting that there was smoke there. What more are we learning about what happened at the Ministry of Defense?
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, not a lot more, Paula, to be honest. It's a very sort of strange incident. At about 11 p.m. Moscow time, the first report came out in state media that there was a fire at the defense ministry building, by the way a very visible building on the banks of the Moscow river and then less than an hour later, the emergency ministry quoted by the same state news agency TASS saying that they had arrived at the scene and that there was no fire detected, no real explanation given for that turnaround.
But obviously, we know this comes at a time where Russia is on high alert for any sort of unexplained incidents on its territory after that relatively violent incursion into Belgorodo, that border region with Ukraine, claimed by anti-Putin groups after the drone attack on the Kremlin. And this is a moment where we're also seeing information operations at a high ebb, a tight control of information on both sides of this conflict.
Obviously, the defense ministry otherwise engaged, as you pointed out overnight, 36 Iranian drones, according to the Ukrainian Air Force, were launched at the country. The Ukrainian air defense is still continuing to show a high level of effectiveness, managing, they say, to shoot down all of them.
But this comes after the Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu promised to respond extremely harshly to those events in Belgrade. I think this can be viewed in that context, Paula.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: Yeah, absolutely. And to add here, U.S. intelligence, as we were reporting, is now saying that Ukrainians may have launched that drone attack on the Kremlin. U.S. officials, you know, say that, look, we don't believe President Zelenskyy had any knowledge of this but, Clare, again this leaves so many questions unanswered.
SEBASTIAN: Yeah and I think even for u.s. intelligence there are still many questions unanswered, Paula, they say that they have made this assessment based on chapter picked up between Ukrainian officials including those that are part of the military in defense intelligence bureaucracy at the there's no suggestion as you say that it is anyway linked to top officials including Zelenskyy at the that chapter, Ukrainian officials, they say, blaming each other for this incident.
There's also a chapter that they picked up, intercepts of Russian officials blaming Ukrainians for this, which they say reduces the likelihood, U.S. officials say reduces the likelihood that this could have been a Russia choreographed false flag, an excuse to escalate the conflict in Ukraine. They have low confidence right now in this assessment that Ukraine,
Ukrainian groups might have been behind this drone attack, they are still keeping other options in mind, but it is, as I say, at a sensitive time where we've seen other potential incursions linked to Ukraine into Russia and where Ukraine continues to take delivery of Western weapons, which is in many ways predicated on a promise not to attack Russian territory. So sort of problematic for Ukraine as well, Paula.
NEWTON: Yeah, even if they were low-level Ukrainian officials. Clare Sebastian for us. Thanks so much. I Appreciate it.
Now, Chinese hackers are laying the groundwork in cyberspace for a possible future crisis between Washington and Beijing. Now according to tech giant Microsoft, the effort is likely focused on disrupting critical communications between the U.S. and its allies in Asia. But Western security agencies are also concerned that China could apply the same formula worldwide.
For more now, Kristie Lu Stout has been following all of this for us from Hong Kong. Yeah, Kristie, I read the security bulletin today and there weren't many details. It's interesting here when they decide to make it public, which they did. The Five Eyes, all those five countries, decided they would publish this bulletin.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, this was detected apparently around the same time as the spy balloon incident took place. But this, Paula, is called Volt Typhoon. It's a state-sponsored Chinese hacking group that, according to Microsoft, has been spying on U.S. critical infrastructure.
In this new report that was just released on Wednesday. Microsoft says that the group is out to disrupt critical communications between the US and Asia in the event of a crisis. And according to Microsoft, it says Volt Typhoon has been active since mid-2021. It has targeted critical infrastructure in parts of the U.S., including the territory of Guam.
Guam, of course, is home to strategic U.S. military bases. It's also a major communications hub between the U.S. and Asia. Now, let's look at the graphic. It's on your screen more closely. The sectors allegedly targeted in the group include construction, education, government, I.T., manufacturing, maritime, telecom, transport, and utility.
Microsoft published the details of the code online. You could find it there so users can find it and remove it, but also added that detecting and mitigating this attack could be challenging. Now China has reacted to the report. It has slammed the report.
In an email we heard from the spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. Let's bring up the statement for you.
And Liu Pengyu says this, quote, "the allegation by the U.S. side that the Chinese government is supporting hacking is completely distorting the truth," unquote. And at a Ministry of Foreign Affairs briefing that just wrapped this afternoon, we heard from the spokesperson, Mao Ning, who added this, addressing the Microsoft report saying, quote, "this is a collective disinformation campaign of the Five Eyes coalition," that's making reference to the coalition comprising of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, U.K. and U.S. of course, saying that "this is a disinformation campaign, the Five Eyes countries by the US for geopolitical purposes," unquote.
Now, the report comes at a time, of course, of ongoing tension, simmering between the U.S. and China over a range of issues, including territorial disputes in the Pacific. Back to you, Paula.
NEWTON: Yes, certainly a lot of talk about that recently in Asia and the G7 and China again taking issue with that. Kristie Lu Stout for us from Hong Kong. I Appreciate it.
LU STOUT: Thank you.
NEWTON: Still to come for us, Guam takes a beating from a super typhoon before it turns out to sea. We're live on the island with how recovery efforts are going. Plus --
Bells ring out in Uvalde, Texas, marking the moment one year ago that a gunman began a massacre that took 21 innocent lives. More on that when we return.
NEWTON: A year after a deadly mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, a candlelit vigil was held by the victim's families to remember the 19 students and two teachers who were shot and killed at Robb Elementary School. Now on Wednesday, bells rang out in honor of the victims.
Flowers were laid in front of the school. State flags were flown at half staff. And a moment of silence was observed right across Texas. U.S. President Joe Biden also paid tribute to the victims and called on Congress once again to ban assault weapons.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: Too many schools, too many everyday places have become killing fields in communities all across every part of America. And in each place, we hear the same message. Do something. For God's sake, please do something. We did something afterwards, but not nearly enough. We still need to ban, in my view, AR-15 firearms and assault weapons once again. You know, they've been used time and again in mass killings of innocent children and people.
(END VIDEO CLIP) NEWTON: Texas lawmakers, meantime, honored the Uvalde victims during their session on Wednesday. The state senate held a moment of silence and passed resolutions paying tribute to the 19 fourth graders and two teachers. Lawmakers took turns honoring the victims by reading into the record information about their lives.
Meanwhile, in Uvalde, members of the community held their own memorials. CNN's Shimon Prokupecz was there.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN SR. CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Certainly a tough day here in Uvalde, as many members of the community came here to the school to lay flowers and pay respect to the kids and the teachers who died here a year ago. We saw families and survivors also here today as they came to pay respect to their teachers and to their friends.
A lot still is unknown here. As this investigation continues, the families, still pretty frustrated over the fact that they're not getting a lot of information from law enforcement officials, from any of the political leaders and other investigators. They're waiting to get some answers. But really, for now, this is all about the survivors, all about the families who lost loved ones as a community, really just trying to unite and try to find some kind of peace in what has been a truly, truly difficult year.
Shimon Prokupecz, CNN, Uvalde, Texas.
NEWTON: For more on this, I'm joined by Dr. Jack Resneck. He is the president of the American Medical Association. And we thank you for being with us on what is a difficult time for so many. And you know, you and I are having this conversation and it takes place on what I would call a continuum of tragedy.
Uvalde is only the latest. Your organization, your association in 2016 declared gun violence a public health crisis. Since then, there has been a 50 percent increase in gun deaths. Why do you think that there has not been, certainly public opinion or legislators to be able to coalesce around this one tragic fact?
DR. JACK RESNECK, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION: Well, Paula, thanks for having me on. And indeed it's really discouraging that we have reached this point. The devastation of firearm violence in America really touches every state, every community, the numbers are awful, more than 45,000 deaths per year. As you said, those numbers have gone up.
The number one cause of death now among children and adolescents between the ages of one and 19, that's more than motor vehicle accidents or drug overdoses or cancer. That statistic is appalling to me. And it's an epidemic, just as we as physicians think about opioids and fentanyl deaths as being an epidemic. This is an epidemic as well, and Americans just don't feel safe in schools and places of worship and stores, theaters, concerts, sometimes even in physician offices and hospitals where we see firearm violence.
Even just pulling into the wrong driveway these days can make you a victim. It's a major public health problem.
NEWTON: And people are feeling that a new poll shows that gun violence has in fact surpassed the opioid crisis as the number one public health concern among Americans. And most of us know why, right? It's because it touches their lives so intimately. I mean, the one fact that you just gave about young people being so exposed to gun violence. I want to ask you though, we had the pandemic, right? We had COVID. That was declared a health crisis. It was treated as an emergency. What should the U.S. be doing right now to treat this like the health emergency that you've declared it to be?
RESNECK: Well, physicians really look at the evidence and we're trained in science and that's why we sort of think of this in the context of a public health emergency because we see our patients, both those who are victims of gun violence, families of victims of gun violence, are just people who are weathered by the stress every day of worrying about being victims of gun violence, so we think about evidence-based solutions.
And so we at the American Medical Association and physicians across the country have been standing up for things that we think are common sense solutions, things where we know and polling shows that Americans and the country is really on our side, even though lawmakers haven't gotten there yet.
And it's simple things we're not talking about taking away hunters rifles or other things. We're talking about restoring the ban on assault style weapons and high capacity magazines that leave our patients with wounds that really look like things we've only seen on battlefields, expanding background checks and waiting periods to cover all firearm sales, making sure schools continue to be gun-free zones and supporting things like extreme risk protection orders.
Those are the things that people may have heard of as red flag laws that basically just allow for the removal of a firearm after a judge has reviewed a case, when there's a really higher imminent risk of violence. Common sense measures, Americans are behind them.
NEWTON: Some states, New York, New Jersey, Michigan, have passed some measures even in the last few months. In Florida though, it's now easier to carry a handgun, I'm sorry, any kind of gun this year. You've just outlined some solutions there. Will any of these incremental things, state by state make a difference? Or do you think this has to be a whole country approach?
RESNECK: I think we need to do everything we can at the local, state, and federal level. And things are so bad at this front, there will take wins anywhere we can get them. And we're playing the long game because this is our children and grandchildren's lives who are at stake.
And yes, we face challenges in some states that have not been as eager to move forward on this or some challenges in the courts. But I think as physicians, we really have an ethical obligation to keep coming back and trying to do what we know is best for our patients and we'll help to protect them and keep them safe.
NEWTON: And I don't have a lot of time left, but some would say, why is the AMA getting involved in this? This is a political issue, not a medical one.
RESNECK: Doctors can't set this out. You know, it's physicians who are the ones when maybe lawmakers and others can look away from this epidemic of gun violence, but it's doctors and emergency departments, trauma rooms every day, who are treating gunshot victims, consoling families who've lost loved ones. And it's really part of our ethical code and our moral fiber as a profession to act when we address to the health of the nation.
NEWTON: All right, Dr. Jock Resneck, oh, we'll have to leave it there. We'll talk to you again, I appreciate it.
RESNECK: Thanks so much.
NEWTON: And we will be right back in a moment.
NEWTON: And we are following a developing story out of Sydney, Australia. More than 100 firefighters are battling a major fire in a seven-storey building. That's according to authorities. New South Wales Fire and Rescue say the building has started to collapse and flames are spreading to other buildings. CNN affiliate Nine News says more than 50 people have been evacuated so far. Now we'll continue to bring you updates on this developing story.
Now, the worst meantime is over for Guam as Typhoon Mawar now moved the island. Guam's governor says as of Thursday morning, no deaths were reported from the storm, which lashed out with strong winds and heavy rain.
The storm has also regained its super typhoon status and is now just shy of Category 5 hurricane strength with sustained winds of 155 miles per hour. It's expected to get even stronger in the coming days.
Storm chaser James Reynolds joins me now from Guam and, you know, we just basically recap what the governor said, and yet, people are still being told to shelter at home. What has the impact of the storm been on Guam? JAMES REYNOLDS, STORM CHASER: Yeah, I took a walk around this morning
to just get in a firsthand look at what has been going on in the aftermath of this storm. And literally all I could hear was the hum of generators because the power is out across wide swathes of the island. There was tree debris everywhere, huge trees knocked over.
I went up to the waterfront and you could see the evidence of where the storm surge had been hammering the immediate coastline, you know. Big concrete blocks moved inland just showing the power of the water. So, yeah, Guam has been roughed up and it's kind of the cleanup is in full swing right now.
NEWTON: Yeah, when you say the cleanup is in full swing, give us an indication. We saw certainly substantial damage to some buildings. Certainly you just mentioned the power outage. How is recovery going to take place? And I'd imagine it's going to take some time.
REYNOLDS: Yeah, I imagine the first priority for the authorities is to try and clear the roads and make sure they're, you know, passable for any rescue services and cleanup crews. And then the airport, I guess it's anyone's guess as to when that will reopen.
I know that flights tomorrow are canceled. But there's a big military presence on Guam, so I wouldn't be surprised if they're called in to lend a hand as well.
NEWTON: In terms of some of the damage that we've seen sustained to buildings, I noticed on social media some people had posted damage to things like hotels. It was severe. I mean, certainly everyone, according to the governor, is safe, but there seems to be a lot of damage to the infrastructure there in terms of things like hotels or tourism businesses.
REYNOLDS: Yeah. What happens in these typhoons is there's so much heavy rain being blown at high speed by the wind. It just finds a way to get into buildings. So even my hotel, you're looking at rooms which are far away from any windows and parts of the ceiling have collapsed because the water has somehow got into the building and undermined of different rooms.
So, and I saw facades of other hotels along the tourist strip, which had suffered damage, parts blown off them, debris crashed onto cars. So, a combination of the wind, but the water can be really damaging. And it's not necessarily immediately obvious from the outside when you're walking around just how much damage that water has done.
NEWTON: Yeah, absolutely. It seems like it was an incredibly terrifying storm to ride out. We're glad that according to the governor, there have been only minor injuries.
James Reynolds for us from Guam. Thanks so much.
I am Paula Newton. I want to thank you for your company. "CNN Newsroom" continues with Max Foster and Bianca Nobilo. That's next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)