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Biden, McCarthy Reach Tentative Deal on U.S. Debt Limit; Texas House Impeaches States Attorney General; Kyiv's Downed Drone Attacks; Voters in Turkey Go To The Polls Once Again Today; New Drugs Aim To Surpass Popular Weight-Loss Medicines. Aired 5-6a ET
Aired May 28, 2023 - 05:00 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 on CNN Newsroom.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY, (R-CA) HOUSE SPEAKER: Once people read the bill, we're pretty excited. But most important, it's America wins on this one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Our Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Biden strike a deal to avert a massive debt default in the United States. We'll look at what comes next as they iron out those details.
Plus, sirens blare in Ukraine's capital as more than 50 Russian drones are downed over Kyiv will take you live to eastern Ukraine for the very latest.
And a big change may soon come to the weight loss market as manufacturers aim to make drugs like Ozempic more accessible. We'll look at whether these drugs live up to the hype.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is CNN Newsroom with Paula Newton.
NEWTON: So in the day ahead, U.S. officials are expected to unveil new legislation on the national debt limit hours after agreeing to extend it. The White House and Republicans announced the tentative deal late today in a frantic effort to avoid a disastrous default.
Now, some conservatives are slamming the agreement, already saying it's far too costly. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is now trying to convince those hardliners that they should support it. Here's how he characterized the deal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MCCARTHY: After weeks of negotiations, we have come to an agreement in principle. We still have a lot of work to do, but I believe this is an agreement in principle that's worthy of the American people. It has historic reductions in spending, consequential reforms that will lift people out of poverty into the workforce, reign in government overreach. There are no new taxes, no new government programs. There's a lot more within the bill.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: President Joe Biden also praised a deal, but acknowledged that he won't please everyone. He said, "The agreement represents a compromise, which means not everyone gets what they want. That's the responsibility of governing."
Now, there were fears that without a deal, the U.S. would default on its financial obligations, something that's never happened in its history and would have global economic impact. But even with this tentative deal, there's still a lot to do before it actually crosses that finish line. CNN's Priscilla Alvarez has the latest now from the White House.
PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: The White House and House Republicans have reached an agreement in principle on the debt ceiling. This, the outcome of 24 hours of tireless talks between Hill negotiators and White House negotiators as they came up against that June 5 deadline when the U.S. would run out of funds and in an attempt to avert a debt default.
Now, over the course of the day, White House officials said that there was general optimism about the trajectory of these talks, some echoing what President Biden had said on Friday on his way to Camp David, that a deal was, "very close." But a pivotal moment came early Saturday or Saturday afternoon when President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy connected over the phone. And that, we are told, is when they were able to reach an agreement in principle.
Now, of course, over the next several hours, both sides will be working on the text of this agreement, and the devil will be in the details. That is where Republicans as well as Democrats will learn more about what exactly this agreement looks like. And they're up against a very tight deadline. Not only was it important for both sides to reach an agreement, but then two, it is what this legislative text will say, showing that to members of Congress and then later a vote on the House floor. And then it has to go through the Senate.
So a long road ahead for what amounts to a very short amount of time. But at least on Saturday, an important development as President Biden, the White House reached that agreement with House Republicans, allowing them to move forward and try to avert a debt default on June 5. Priscilla Alvarez, CNN, the White House.
(END VIDEOTAPE) NEWTON: And joining me now from Washington is Thomas Gift, Director of the Center on U.S. Politics at University College London. You're right there. You had a front row seat to all the drama. What were your key takeaways?
THOMAS GIFT, DIRECTOR, CENTRE ON U.S. POLITICS, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON: Well, Paula, I think my key takeaway is that it's still not a done deal. You know, a deal in principle versus inking the legislation are obviously two different things. And so we'll find out if the leashes of Kevin McCarthy and Joe Biden are as long as they think they are.
In the House, of course, there's been so much talk about the Republican Freedom Caucus and how much its members would be willing to compromise on spending caps. I think getting to yes there is going to require a lot of whipping and will almost certainly see defections. Congressman Chip Roy of Texas, for example, has already been quite explicit that the leaked details of the plan don't seem to constitute a deal that he can support. Reportedly, some far-right members are already looking at procedural steps to obstruct the bill or they're trying to claw back some concessions that McCarthy has allegedly made. But I think we also shouldn't underestimate how much this deal is going to irk progressives as well.
They talked a lot about non-negotiables and areas like work requirements, which ostensibly ended up being negotiated. So it'll be a big test for McCarthy, who was already weakened by his fight just to get the Speaker's gavel, and it'll be a high wire act as well for Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries, who also presides over a very splintered conference in the House. And that's not even to mention the Senate. So there's still a long way to go here.
NEWTON: Yeah, certainly that polarized Capitol is really proving difficult for both parties. This is a deal really made for moderates from both parties. You just pointed out a lot of the backlash that the parties are feeling here. Do you think that actually puts the passage of this at risk? Do you think that could happen because there are moderates of both sides that can come together and have a true bipartisan vote on this?
GIFT: Well, I think the odds still are that we're going to see passage, but it's going to be a challenge. You know, like any compromise, no side is going to be happy with the final product. It's a mishmash of priorities that's I think necessarily born more out of politics than thoughtful policy. I think mature voices on both sides realized that they were never going to get everything they wanted, that red lines were going to get blurred, that non-starters were going to go by the wayside. But, you know, of course, there are a lot of not very mature voices wielding clout in these discussions still, which is why we ended up in this situation in the first place.
At the same time, you know, I think both sides can walk away and tell voters that they held their ground on the critical issues. And that's why I think that this will get over the finish line, which was always the goal. You know, Republicans can say broadly that they achieved deficit reduction. They can point to specific wins on work requirements for programs like food stamps. And Democrats can also say that they protected the most vital social programs. They can also point to particular victories, like avoiding overhauls of Medicaid.
So the end, I think, hardline progressives, they might not forgive Biden for playing ball with McCarthy, and fiscal conservatives, they might resent McCarthy for caving too much to Biden. But, you know, a perfect deal was always going to prove elusive.
NEWTON: Yeah, which most said at the outset. I want to get back to that issue about whether or not there's going to be a test for McCarthy. It clearly is. You know, Fox News reported earlier this week that he was in contact with former President Trump. Perhaps that shouldn't surprise anyone, but how significant is that in terms of him trying to just keep his speakership and then trying to keep that caucus in line?
GIFT: Yeah, exactly. I mean, he really has twin goals here, which is just to cling to power, which I think for McCarthy has always been a big challenge. And then to get one of these big deals over the finish line is going to prove equally difficult. You know, the fact that Donald Trump is weighing in, that other voices are weighing in from the Senate, often in conflicting ways, I think does pull him in lots of different directions.
And the Republican Freedom Caucus, they given the power of Trumpism right now, I think hold a lot of clout. Even if their numbers are relatively small, their power is significant. And we saw that in the Speaker's debate. How much amplification of their voices was possible. They resonate a lot with the Republican base, and that's not something that Kevin McCarthy can take lightly. So it's certainly going to be a balancing act here.
NEWTON: Yeah, certainly that is going to be difficult to ignore. And we'll wait and see, of course, because even if they get this deal done, you don't want that chaos going right to the stroke of midnight on June 5 or perhaps even beyond. Thomas Gift for us, thanks so much for getting up early there in Washington to parse this with us. Appreciate it.
GIFT: Thank you, Paula.
NEWTON: Now, the mayor of New York City has asked a judge to suspend portions of the city's so-called right to shelter law, which requires officials to house homeless people. Authorities say they're struggling to cope with the influx of migrants being bussed in from the southern border, which is why they're seeking the court order. Listen.
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BRENDAN MCGUIRE, CHIEF COUNSEL TO NEW YORK CITY MAYOR ERIC ADAMS: It's to have that flexibility, do we want to necessarily exercise that in every case, in every way, whatever it may be? Not necessarily. So, it's an effort to be responsible here to secure some flexibility now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Meanwhile, city officials have announced plans to partner with houses of worship to try and shelter migrants. The initiative will begin at the end of June.
So, in a stunning development, Republican lawmakers in the Texas House have voted overwhelmingly to impeach one of their own, the state's Republican attorney general. The vote against Ken Paxton was 121-23. As Rosa Flores reports, it comes after a legislative investigation accused him of years of corruption. And we will have that report for you a little later on.
In the meantime, speculation grows in Ukraine about its anticipated counter offensive. But as when and where that remains up in the air. Guns do the talking on the ground. That's ahead.
Now, people in Turkey also heading to the polls, including President Erdogan, who you're seeing live right now. This is the second time in two weeks for an election to choose the president. We'll have a report from Istanbul after the breakup.
NEWTON: Ukraine's air defenders say they held their own in the latest barrage of Russian drone strikes. They say they shot down 52 of 54 Iranian made drones aimed at Ukrainian targets overnight. But the mayor of Kyiv says falling debris damaged buildings and cause fires in the capital at least one person was killed and another wounded in the city.
Meantime, the death toll from Russia's strike on a medical facility in Dnipro has grown to at least four people. Ukrainian officials say the victims include two medical workers and an employee of a nearby veterinary clinic, 32 people were wounded in Friday's attack.
Sam Kiley is monitoring all the latest developments for us and he joins us now from Eastern Ukraine. And Sam, you know, another menacing night in Kyiv, particularly active, what more can you tell us about those drone attacks overnight?
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Paula, this was the 14th, according to local authorities, attack that they believe was as central -- centralized rather on the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
Now, this one used overwhelmingly Shahed, these are the smaller, more primitive, basically giant model aircraft carrying 40 kilograms of high explosives manufactured in Iran and sold to Russia. They've been used frequently, Paula, and they're quite easy to shoot down, but what they are intent to do, according to analysts here and indeed in the west, is to try to soak up Ukraine's air defense capabilities, particularly as Ukraine is continuing to prepare the ground for what is anticipated to be a significant summer offensive. So, there was one person killed by a falling debris from one of these Shahed so-?called drones. They're not really drones. They're not guided in the sense that they're not flown remotely, but they simply fly into the airspace and then fall with this warhead in front of them.
But elsewhere in the country, there was also a very busy time in terms of cross-?border shelling, or cross-?frontline shelling, I should say, by the Russians of front-?line villages in the south of the country, and Kharkiv in the north was also hit. So, there is a sort of steady state of violence almost every night and day coming from Russia, sporadically, but it's clear really that at the moment it's the Ukrainians who have the initiative, not least, because they've been flagging this upcoming offensive, and the intent behind that is obviously to keep the Russians guessing, to try and get the Russians to over or misinterpret every military move, no matter how small the Ukrainians may make. Paula.
NEWTON: Now, Ukraine's Defense Intelligence Agency says it gained, in the meantime, valuable information from the Belgrade incursion. Now, Sam, I know that you followed that story very closely, even speaking to those involved in that incursion. You know, what do you think Ukrainians are getting at with this?
KILEY: Well, the first thing is, again, part of that psychological operations is to say, with a bit of a wink to the Russians, we've found stuff out and we're not going to tell you what it is, but it means that we might be able to kill more of you. So that is a messaging thing that the Intelligence Organization, remember, Intelligence Organizations also really run the psychological operations aspect of it. But then you've got the real-world truth behind it, which is that a relatively small number of Russian nationals fighting for Ukraine in the Ukrainian security services crossed into Russia and probed they, in fact, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Russian Mercenary Organization for -- in the Russian Mercenary Organization that's been fighting in Bakhmut. He said it was a reconnaissance by force. And I think that there is some truth to that. This was a movement into Russian territory, gauging the Russian reactions, working out what capabilities the Russians have to defend their borders in these potentially remote areas, timing the responses, working out where, if at all, counterattack would come from. All of that is valuable intelligence. But it is also put psychological pressure on the Russians, keeping them guessing.
NEWTON: Sam Kiley for us, appreciate that update live for us from Eastern Ukraine.
Voters are going to the polls in Turkey today to decide whether President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and whether or not he will become the president -- remain in the presidency. It is, in fact, the country's first ever presidential runoff election. The President is facing once again with main opposition candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu. Now, after neither won an absolute majority in the first round of voting two weeks ago.
Now, a reminder here that turnout was strong in that election, nearly 90% of those who were eligible cast a ballot joining us now is CNN's Nada Bashir, who's live from Istanbul and you have been on the ground for us covering this. You know, Nada, with parliamentary control already decided, you know, do you expect that turnout will be as strong as that 90% from the first round?
NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: That is certainly the feeling. In fact, in the last hour we've heard from the head of Turkey's Supreme Election Council who has said that interest both internationally and locally has been high so far, the run-off election going off without any issues. Polls are set to close in just a matter of hours.
I have to say, over the last few days we've really seen us stepping up of that campaign effort and we've been speaking to people here at this polling station casting their vote. Many have told us they haven't lost hope. Nothing has changed in the last few weeks. If anything, they are only more determined to make their voices heard.
Now, many of the people that we've been speaking to at this particular polling station have said that they plan to vote for the opposition. For them, it is a vote for change after more than two decades overruled by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the opposition alliance, of course, came away from that first round just under 45% of the vote. Short of that, 50 plus 1% needed to declare a victory. President Erdogan's AK Party securing 49.5% of the vote in the last round. So, according to analysts of the last few days, the feeling is that Erdogan's party may be primed to secure another victory.
But it all is very close. It remains to be seen whether or not they are able to sway enough voters to get over that threshold later this evening. And there are some significant challenges ahead for whoever is elected president. For the voters that we've been speaking to today, there are really the same issues on both sides. They are concerned about the economy, the cost-of-living prices, people across the country, small walks of life really struggling with the rising inflation rates, with the weakening of lira and then, of course, there's the aftermath of the earthquake.
President Erdogan has faced fierce backlash over the last few weeks for the government's response to the earthquake and also an apparent failure to prepare for such a disaster. So there are some major questions there for President Erdogan and challenges should the opposition be elected to power.
Of course, President Erdogan has, over the last two decades, secured Turkey's place in the global state. This is a key NATO ally, an important regional power, broker. So the consequences of this election will be far reaching, not exclusive to this country alone. And of course, all eyes will be watching and waiting for the results this evening. It is very much a close race, but voters here are still hopeful, still determined to make their voices heard.
NEWTON: Yeah, absolutely. And as you point out, stakes are high not just within Turkey, but also with those looking on. Nada Bashir for us in Istanbul. Good to have you there.
And we want to give you this programming note for our international viewers, be sure to watch CNN's special live coverage of the elections in Turkey hosted by Becky Anderson. That's tonight at 08:00 p.m. in Ankara, 09:00 p.m. in Abu Dhabi, right here on CNN.
OK, still ahead for us, much more on the deal to raise the U.S. debt limit. We'll explain why the breakthrough agreement still faces hurdles on Capitol Hill.
And on this holiday weekend, we want to hear AAA's advice before you get behind the wheel. That story, when we continue.
NEWTON: And welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Paula Newton, and this is CNN Newsroom.
And I want to get back to our top story this hour. Just days before the U.S. government was expected to run out of cash and set off a global economic calamity, President Joe Biden and House Speaker McCarthy have reached a deal in principle to increase the debt limit.
But as you can imagine, a number of lawmakers from both parties have raised concerns about this agreement, saying their demands were not fully met. Negotiators are now working on the final text, which would go to a vote. The House of Representatives, perhaps McCarthy says he could have that on the House floor by Wednesday.
Now, the deal has a long way to go to get the approval of Congress. CNN's Manu Raju explains why there could be opposition on both sides of the aisle.
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: After a furious round of negotiations and staring at the prospects of the first ever debt default in American history, the Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy, reached a deal late Saturday with President Biden to raise the national debt limit and do that for two years' time. And also to include a range of other spending cuts and other policy concessions the Republicans had demanded, including paring back some social safety net programs that had been central to their efforts here.
But the White House conceded on that, of those accounts. They ultimately shook hands, reached an agreement in principle, and now the real challenge begins, because there is pushback. Some conservatives do not believe this bill went far enough. They believe that it is a retreat of sorts from the Republican position, demanding even deeper spending cuts. This proposal would cut spending, go back to 2023 levels of federal spending. Republicans wanted to go back. Some of the conservatives wanted to go back to 2022 levels. But the White House had conceded substantially on that approach. They did not want any cuts whatsoever as part of this agreement. On the Democratic side, many did not want any sort of work
requirements on social safety net programs like food stamps. Also, they had furiously opposed any spending cuts and so expect some opposition from Democrats now. Kevin McCarthy, in speaking to reporters in the immediate aftermath of this deal, said that a vote would occur on Wednesday, then the bill text would be released on Sunday. That gives them some 72 hours essentially to begin to lock down the votes. The question is going to be, how many Republicans will defect?
We do expect several dozen Republicans, at least 35 at the moment, warning they will vote against it, that a number is expected to grow. But how many more will vote against this plan? And Kevin McCarthy keep a majority of his conference behind it. That is the hope and the expectation at the moment from Republican leaders. But that does not mean that's enough to pass the House. They will need to get support from Democrats. The number of House Democrats who are concerned about this bill will have to be convinced to vote for it.
We do know that the House Democrats are going to get briefed by White House officials on Sunday. That'll be part of the White House effort to try to get their members in line. Can they get that coalition together, get it through the House by Wednesday? And then they have to worry about the United States Senate, which can take time to get any legislation through, several days, sometimes up to a week, depending on how members respond to this bill.
So still some major questions despite the significant agreement that was reached late after these frantic negotiations, still uncertain whether they can get there and avoid nation's first ever debt default by June 5, the deadline for Congress to get the bill through both chambers and get it signed into law. Manu Raju, CNN, Capitol Hill.
NEWTON: I want to get back now to that story we're telling you about at the top of the show, a stunning development in Texas politics. The Republican dominated House of Representatives has overwhelmingly voted to impeach the state's Republican Attorney General.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They've been 121 ayes and 23 nays, two present, not voting, three absent. The resolution is adopted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: OK, by a vote of 121-23 lawmakers voted to remove Ken Paxton from office. Now, a recent legislative investigation accused Paxton of 20 impeachable offenses, including disregard of his public duty, bribery, obstruction, and conspiracy. One Democratic lawmaker implored his colleagues to demand Paxton's ouster.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TERRY CANALES, TEXAS HOUSE DEMOCRAT: We have a decision to make here today. Do we listen to our colleagues, a bipartisan committee that sat and listened to hours of testimony that held that investigation since March that come before you, members of the highest integrity? I tell you that I have faith in them. I have faith in you. Fear not politics, fear corruption.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: So Paxton is now suspended from office until the Texas Senate holds a trial, but Paxton remains defiant, calling his impeachment illegal, unethical, and profoundly unjust.
OK, do I have to remind you it is Memorial Day weekend here in the United States and the weather, unfortunately, could be a spoiler in some parts of the country. A coastal low could bring rain to the southeast, increasing the risk of high surf and dangerous rip currents from beaches, in beaches from Virginia to Florida.
Now, meantime, a slow-moving front across the Rockies could lead to storms from Montana, right through to West Texas. And a red flag warning is in effect for portions of Minnesota and North Dakota right through this evening. So goes without saying, be careful with those fires from those holiday cookouts.
And despite those weather warnings, air travel in the United States just hit its highest level since the pandemic as millions take to the skies. The Transportation Security Administration says it screened more than 2.7 million travelers at airports right across the country on Friday alone. That's the highest checkpoint volume since November 2019. Yes, as we've told you before, pack the patience, you will have a lot of company.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIE CLARK, TRAVELING WITH TWO YOUNG DAUGHTERS: Our shuttle was late. Our dropping off our car late, and we got here late. And then there's a mince line, but everybody seems to be cool. So that's a positive.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So next year Memorial Day weekend, will you be traveling during the same time?
CLARK: No, not even kind of.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: OK, so now millions of Americans are also hitting the roads. And as we hear from Mike Valerio, lower prices at the pump mean near record levels of traffic this weekend.
MIKE VALERIO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, not only are we above the busiest freeway here in Los Angeles, this is also the busiest interstate across the United States. And as we zoom in, you can see this is the traffic that is headed towards the beach, towards the Pacific Ocean. And as we look at this busiest section of freeway, the automobile association of America anticipates that we will just about reach, but not cross over a record, a number of Americans traveling for Memorial Day weekend on the road.
So this is the number right here, just over 37 million Americans. But it does not exceed the number of Americans who traveled Memorial Day 2019 before the pandemic. And let's tell us that that could be because of inflation and still relatively high gas prices. But AAA did give some advice for people who are about to begin their automotive journeys. Listen to what they told us.
DOUG SHUPE, AAA SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Definitely inspect that vehicle before you take that long road trip. Check your tire tread and inflation, make sure your battery has a good charge, make sure your fluid levels are topped off. During this Memorial Day weekend, AAA anticipates coming to the roadside rescue of more than 460,000 stranded drivers.
VALERIO: And in terms of the cost of fuel, the cost of gasoline, those prices aren't coming down from where we were last year. We had prices that were about $4.60 a year ago. The national average for around this Memorial Day weekend is $3.58. So prices are relatively high in terms of historical terms, but they are coming down. Prices coming down, especially here in California, the states of Alaska, New Jersey, New York and Florida.
We did speak to analysts from GasBuddy and they tell us that it is less and less likely by the day that the national average for gasoline across the United States will cross over $4 a gallon. So that is certainly good news for anybody, any American who is planning their great road trip for the summer of 2023. Mike Valerio, CNN, Los Angeles.
NEWTON: OK, still ahead for us, drugs used to treat diabetes and obesity are becoming available in new forms to help with weight loss. But how effective are they? I'll talk to a bariatric surgeon and get his expert opinion.
Plus, we'll break down the battle on the ice for the NHL playoffs with the Dallas Stars extending the series against the biggest goal in the night.
NEWTON: New hope now for people trying to lose weight. Some popular drugs used to treat diabetes and obesity are now being developed in pill form. That's instead of injections and some say that could be easier and more convenient to take. CNN's Meg Tirrell has our details.
MEG TIRRELL, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: So drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy, which are approved for type 2 diabetes and for weight loss, have to be administered with a shot that a patient gives themselves once a week. But there are pill versions that companies are working on, and in data we saw just this past week, it looks like the efficacy is about similar to what we see with the injectable versions of the drugs. Novo Nordisk, which makes both Ozempic and Wegovy, has a tablet version of the drug, where it showed in a trial that it could lead to 15% weight loss.
There are also some drugs in development from Pfizer and Eli Lilly. We saw some Pfizer data this week. These are all in clinical trials right now. They'll have to go through more study, and for the Novo Nordisk drug, they say they'll potentially file for FDA approval this year. So these could be coming within the next year or two if they are successful.
However, we do see that they have a similar side effect profile as the injectable drugs, things like nausea and vomiting. We've heard from doctors that this can be intolerable for about 5% to 10% of patients. There is some hope that with pill versions of the drug, you could sort of change the way that you take the drug. You start at lower doses and you gradually move up over time. If you had a pill, maybe you could modulate that in a way where you could cut back on some of those side effects. So that is a hope.
There is also a huge number of drugs in development that aim to improve on the amount of weight loss that we are seeing with the current medicines. Right now there is a drug called Mounjaro that is already on the market for type 2 diabetes. It is expected to get approval for weight loss by the end of this year or early next year. That is called Tirzepatide, as the chemical name. It leads to weight loss of about 22% that we saw in clinical trials. But there are drugs that are coming along even behind that, one known as GGG because it goes after three different targets that doctors say could lead to 25-% to 30% weight loss.
The question of course is going to be safety. Are these drugs tolerable? And then of course, can they be paid for? These drugs are quite expensive, more than $1,000 a month and insurance is still getting worked out in many cases.
NEWTON: Joining me now is Dr. Dan Azagury, he is the Section Chief of Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery at Stanford University. And Doctor, thanks for helping us try and sort some of this out. I know a lot of people have been curious about what they've heard about this class of drugs. And so help us separate the fact from the fiction, from the fad here. Given the prevalence of both diabetes and obesity in the United States and quite frankly all around the world, is the widespread use of this class of drugs advisable given how many people we now hear are taking it for cosmetic reasons?
DAN AZAGURY, SECTION CHIEF OF MINIMALLY INVASIVE AND BARIATRIC SURGERY, STANFORD UNIVERSITY: Yes, thank you for having me, Paula. And that's the question. And I think it's really critical to differentiate disease from cosmetic reasons. Obesity is as you very well said, a widespread disease across the world in Europe and the Middle East and the United States of course. And we need good treatments. Obesity leads to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke. So it is really critical that we finally have some really good tools to be able to treat this disease.
NEWTON: And in terms though of helping to understand what is the difference between taking it cosmetically and taking it under certainly medical supervision?
AZAGURY: Right, so first of all it's a drug that is supposed to be a prescription drug. So you should not be able to take it unless a doctor is prescribing it for you. And the way the drug is intended, it was studied for weight loss in a setting where you have a setup where you have diet exercise and we add the drug to it. And so the goal of this is to have a long-term plan and a way to have the drug help you lose weight and also find a way to, you know, see how things go on the other end. Once you've lost the weight, how do we find a way to taper off? Cosmetically people think that, you know, you can take it, lose four or five pounds and then stop taking it. You will first of all get a rebound. And second of all, the goal here is really to improve your health in the long run. This is a battle to prevent disease for the rest of your life. This is not to really improve cosmetics.
NEWTON: Yeah, really good points there. And I want to ask you, given though that it certainly has become so popular, do you worry about access for those who are obese and diabetic given we have heard about acute shortages? And of course, there isn't yet affordable access for everyone.
AZAGURY: And that's a fantastic question. I think affordable access is really critical. And all of my patients face the same problem where insurance right now does not often cover these drugs and that honestly is shocking to me. It's a disease that needs to be treated and most of my patients cannot afford this drug out of pocket.
And in terms of the shortages, I do think beyond the shortages, it's also a matter of health for everybody. You don't want to have people take this in a non-?supervised way. You know, there are some side effects. It is a drug, and so you don't want to do this casually, first of all. And then overall, I would say my hope is that the shortages are temporary. Think, you know, COVID vaccine a few years ago and fast forward a few years later, you can walk in anywhere and get your COVID vaccine. My hope is that it will be the same as we have more manufacturers, there are more drugs in the pipeline, and it will be available for the broad population.
NEWTON: And given that, do you believe in the studies you've seen so far that these drugs will actually live up to the hype? I mean, do you believe that most people who are obese or diabetic would benefit from these drugs at this point?
AZAGURY: Absolutely. Not only I believe it, I've seen it with my own eyes. The data that has been reported in the studies is excellent, and we see it replicated in our patients. And it's not only how much weight people lose, which is really, truly amazing. It's also the amount of people that respond to the treatment. And so that is a very big change for us because, you know, the best treatment we have right now is weight loss surgery. And most people respond to that very well. But in drugs, it used to be you give the drug and a few people will do well, and most people will not lose weight. Here, the response rate was 80% to 96% depending on the drug that you're talking about. So practically everybody has a response to the drug, and that's a game changer.
NEWTON: Wow. It really is a game changer. We did show that there were some side effects, but again, most people do tolerate them well, we've learned. Dr. Dan Azagury, thank you so much. A lot of good information there for everyone.
AZAGURY: Thank you very much for having me, Paula.
NEWTON: Okay. Still ahead for us, the dramatic buzzer beating victory by the Boston Celtics over the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA playoffs. We will break down all the drama. And, oh, was it traumatic? With CNN's Sports Carolyn Manno that's after the break.
NEWTON: An epic game last night with the NBA playoffs, the Boston Celtics persevered against the Miami Heat in Game 6 Saturday night, tying the series three to three and forcing that whole important 7th game. CNN's Carolyn Manno joins us now from New York with more. Carolyn, I mean, you can hardly believe your eyes when it's happening, right? You're looking at the clock. You're looking at the basket. Looking at the clock. So stressful for all the fans.
CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: It really was, Paula. It was incredible. Because when the Celtics faces four straight elimination scenario, few thought that they could even put themselves in position and make history. I mean, a team gets down by three games and you think this thing is over. But they did it in the most dramatic way possible. That had all of our jaws on the ground. Boston up by two with less than 10 seconds to go. And Jimmy Butler got hot at the right time, had the ball for Miami, got forced into the corner, had to throw up this wild shot. He got fouled by Al Horford. So Butler, who struggled all game long, calmly sinking all free throws, giving Miami the lead, and then this was the end of the game here. Incredible, after a timeout, Derrick White inbounding for the Celtics. He passes to Marcus Smart. The three pointer comes up short, but nobody covers White. And he was able to grab this putback and let go of the ball just before the clock hits zero. Incredible awareness as the Celtics win 104 to 103, becoming just the fourth NBA team to ever force a Game 7 after being in a three-game hole to start the series. So it is winner take all, as you said Monday night. And, oh, by the way, it's back in Boston.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DERRICK WHITE, BOSTON CELTICS GUARD: We won. Whatever it takes, we got our basket against the wall. We won.
JAYSON TATUM, BOSTON CELTICS FORWARD: Oh, my God. That was incredible. I'm still, like, in disbelief. It was crazy.
WHITE: We're resilient group. We pick each other up, we fight for each other, and job isn't done yet. We got a tough one, Game 7, and we got to find a way to get one more win here.
JIMMY BUTLER, MIAMI HEAT FORWARD: Basketball is fine. It's very entertaining, but that's good basketball. And I think I believe leave, as we all do, you're going to get the same test until you pass it. I swear. We're in the same position last year and we can do it. I know that. We will do it. We got to go on the road and win in a very tough environment, but we're capable of it. So let's get busy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MANNO: Indeed, the Dallas Stars also trying to keep their season alive against Vegas. Check out this incredible save by Adin Hill, diving, losing his stick to stuff, the shot that would have given Dallas the lead. Hill couldn't stop Malvo (ph), unfortunately, and Ty Dellandrea put up two goals in the third period. So the Stars win four to two in this. They end up forcing that Game 6 back in Dallas tomorrow night. Had to get it done, and they did.
And lastly this morning for you, this is a remarkable story in England that sounds like it's right out of Wrexham, Luton Town, punching their ticket back to the top flight of football with a dramatic win over Coventry City. It went down to penalties. So after being relegated in 1992, falling all the way to the fifth tier and being stuck there for nine years, the Hatters are finally going to make their long-awaited Premier League debut next season, along with $200 million congratulations as well.
And just looking ahead for you, Paula. This is the biggest day of the year in motor racing as well, so a lot to look forward to today. It all begins with Formula One's crown jewel, the Monaco Grand Prix. It is absolutely beautiful there. It has been all weekend. And two-time reigning champ and points leader Max Verstappen is the man to beat, earning his first ever poll in Monaco. Flag drop at 09:00 a.m. Eastern for that. So that's coming up in just a couple of hours here stateside and then at 06:00 p.m., it the longest race of the NASCAR season, the Coca-Cola 600, with William Byron starting first in Charlotte, North Carolina. The 75th Anniversary of NASCAR this year, so that's always a big deal. And then sandwiched in between at 1:00 Eastern, it's the greatest spectacle in racing. And that is the 107th edition of the Indianapolis 500. And you've got Spain's Alex Palou getting his first poll at Indy as well.
And also Britain's Catherine Legge, who is back in the field for the first time since 2013. She is actually one of just nine women ever to compete in the Indy 500. A century of history, and there's only been nine. And this year, she became the fastest ever woman to qualify for the Indy 500, outracing all three of her male teammates. But she did tell our Don Riddell earlier this week that she would simply prefer to be known as the fastest driver, period. [05:55:02]
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CATHERINE LEGGE, QUALIFIED 30TH FOR INDIANAPOLIS 500: When you set out racing, you don't set out to be a trailblazer or a role model or any of those things, right? You are focused on Catherine and being the best race car driver that I can be, and then at some point comes a realization that you are a role model, and with that comes responsibility. So while I don't set out to do that, I do appreciate that that's what happens. And a lot of young girls accept me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MANNO: It's absolutely true. There aren't that many opportunities for a young woman to really get into the sport. And so for Katherine, she is a role model. But it should be a very exciting day of racing, Paula, all around. And, of course, Game 7, the best two words in sports as it comes to the NBA finals. That was an incredible game last night.
NEWTON: Absolutely, like Jimmy Butler said, that's what you go there for, right? The good basketball. Carolyn Manno, thanks so much. Really appreciate it.
I'm Paula Newton. I want to thank you for your company. For viewers in North America, CNN This Morning is next. For everyone else, it's Decoded.
Now, before we go, we want to tell you that, of course, it is Memorial Day weekend, and it marks what is a somber holiday, but it's also a chance to say thank you and honor people who have saved the nation.