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Study: Enjoying Nature May Lessen Need For Some Meds; Actor Says He Was "Paid In Weed" For "Texas Chainsaw Massacre"; Dozens Of Sheriffs Refuse To Enforce New Gun Law In Illinois. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired January 18, 2023 - 7:30   ET



PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: Back to you, Don.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: All right. Pamela Brown in Washington for us this morning. Thank you, Pamela.

BROWN: Thank you.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN HOST: All right. Also this morning, we now know that enjoying nature can heal the soul, but can it heal your body? We're going to show you a new study that says it just might.

LEMON: Boy, we need that on this schedule. Hollywood legend, John Larroquette, get this, revealing how he was paid for his first movie gig in the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. You -- okay, I'll wait. After the break, you'll hear it.



Coming up, the TSA intercepting a record number of firearms at airport checkpoints in 2022. Guess what, most of them were loaded.

The governor of Illinois also today facing pushback from law enforcement after he banned assault weapons in the state. That governor, J.B. Pritzker, is going to join us live.

And a deadly helicopter crash in Ukraine. The nation's interior minister and three children are among the dead. We are live on the ground in the suburbs of Kyiv with Clarissa Ward.


All right. Also this morning, we have all heard about the health benefits of getting outside. But now, a new study shows, it can actually reduce your need for medication for anxiety, asthma, high blood pressure, among others.

So joining us to talk about the results of this study, who better than CNN's medical correspondent, Dr. Tara Narula. This is kind of amazing. So getting outside actually means you need less medication of certain things. TARA NARULA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Should we go? Should we get up and go outside?

COLLINS: Yes, why --


LEMON: But I'll let you do it.

NARULA: You need a studio outdoors. Yes. So this is an interesting study that took place in Finland, and they basically sampled or surveyed about 6,000 random adults in three of the largest cities of Finland, about their access use, and frequently how often they went to green and blue spaces within one kilometer of where they lived.

And they in fact found that those that had the highest frequency of visits to green spaces had lower use of the medications you mentioned. About a 30 percent reduction in their use of blood pressure medicine, and their use of mental health medications and a little bit over 25 percent reduction in the use of asthma medications.

COLLINS: But maybe more Claritin.

LEMON: OK. Maybe I'm wrong. I thought it was like just like vitamin D, meaning sunshine and moving.

NARULA: Yes. So they can't really tell from the study what exactly the link is. But interestingly, it was not good enough to just look at green and blue spaces. So you couldn't have a view of the Hudson River, for example, and have this effect.

So there's something about actually getting up and going. And so there may be a physiologic link there both with increased physical activity that can lower your use of medications, maybe stress reduction, some other immunologic benefits, and then socialization, you're getting out and being around other people. So there is potentially that biological link that could make this make sense.


LEMON: This next thing is me.

COLLINS: It's the opposite of me. I like hate procrastinating. But you're actually have reporting on how it can -- it can -- you're not just missing a deadline or late to something, it can actually have a poor effect on Don's health.

NARULA: Yes. So you're procrastinating on the opposite. I get stressed out by procrastination. But this was the study of about 3,000 Swedish university students, so another Scandinavian study. And they surveyed them about how much they procrastinate. There's actually a procrastination scale. Who knew that that existed?

And then they followed their health outcomes over about nine months. And they found that those that had the highest amount of procrastination at nine months, had worse mental health, more upper body pain, more loneliness, poor economic situation.


NARULA: So these associations were small, but the authors of the study say, look, if we follow them for longer periods of time than just nine months, maybe we would see larger impacts here. And then there may be something there to work on to target.

LEMON: I need a deadline. Because I've worked better under deadline or under pressure. I'm not as we say, the red light person. When the camera goes on, then whatever I say the same thing with a deadline. If the deadline is there, then I'm going to do it. But I don't know. You just said, it's -- you have to see what the long-term effects are.

NARULA: Exactly.

LEMON: I'm a loner and I'm a procrastinator.

COLLINS: You're a loner?

LEMON: Oh, yes, I am.

COLLINS: I would never have thought that.

LEMON: You didn't -- you didn't know that, did you?

COLLINS: I don't think a loner --

LEMON: I'm like, why are these people talking so much? Even in my house, I'm like, don't talk so much.

COLLINS: Don't talk with the dogs like that. Barkley [ph].

LEMON: Barkley. That's his problem. He barks too much. Yes. So --

NARULA: You're a loner. I have no idea.

LEMON: People have no idea.

NARULA: I would never suspect.

LEMON: Yes. Well. All right. Thank you, Doctor. Appreciate it.

NARULA: Thank you.

LEMON: You can go to to read the full article on procrastination. Sorry. Don't do that one. I've read Kaitlan's take.

COLLINS: I've already read it because I don't procrastinate.

LEMON: That was a good one. That was a good one.

So there's this longstanding online rumor revealed to be true. Actor John Larroquette now admits that he was paid in a marijuana for his narration use in the 1974 film the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It was rumored that he was the voice behind the introductory narration, but it was never confirmed. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The film which you are about to see is an account of the tragedy which befell a group of five youths.


LEMON: So Larroquette told Parade Magazine that the director Tobe Harper [ph] gave me some marijuana or a matchbox or whatever you called it in those days. I walked out of the recording studio and patted him on the back -- on the backside and said, good luck to you." You can't do that these days.

The low budget movie spawned a franchise and Larroquette narrated those as well. But for the sequels, he earned an actual paycheck each time now. So now you know. Paid in that.

COLLINS: Somebody might get paid. [inaudible]

LEMON: Does anyone even do that anymore like? Or is it just gummies or edibles?

COLLINS: That's a whole another story.

LEMON: Everybody's like, I don't know. I heard. That's what I heard.

NARULA: Well, people still do it.

LEMON: Is that true, Doctor?



NARULA: I hear all people's inner --


LEMON: We hear.

NARULA: -- secrets in the exam room, so.

LEMON: Let's do some research after the show.

All right. So Illinois Governor at odds with the dozens of sheriffs in his state who say that they won't enforce his new assault weapons ban. Coming up, we're going to talk to Governor J.B. Pritzker of Illinois.

COLLINS: Also, a scary moment was caught on camera as gunshots were fired at the end of a high school basketball game. We have the details --


COLLINS: -- of what you're seeing here next. LEMON: Ooh.


LEMON: All right. Welcome back, everyone. This morning, the TSA revealing someone attempted to bring a weapon with an anti-tank level firepower onto a Texas flight this week. Agents said that they found the undeclared weapon in checked luggage and alerted police that as the agency says it intercepted a record number of firearms at airport security checkpoints in 2022.


But TSA confiscated more than 6,500 firearms that year, last year, I should say, and 88 percent of them were loaded. Number of firearms caught at checkpoints has risen every year since 2010. Except for 2020 when the pandemic limited travel.

And this terrifying moments last night at the Oklahoma high school basketball game.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John Smith Fieldhouse tonight where the Millwood Falcons --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll go to break.


LEMON: Wow. What the hell? Announcers and fans forced to take cover when gunshots rang out moments after a game between Millwood High and Del City. At least one man was shot and taken to the hospital. There were more than 500 people inside the facility when the shots were fired. The principal of Del City High says the school will shift to a virtual learning day to day.

COLLINS: Also today, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is getting major pushback from law enforcement after he became the ninth governor to ban military style firearms. The law would stop the sale of assault weapons and cap the sale of high capacity ammunition magazines. It makes it illegal to convert legal handguns into assault weapons. And it would also require those who own semi-automatic guns to register them with State Police.

Dozens of sheriffs across Illinois say they won't enforce the newly enacted assault weapons ban though, with one sheriff writing that it's a clear violation of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution so they won't check to make sure that lawful gun owners, they say, have registered their weapons, as some Republican officials in the state are standing with those sheriffs and calling out the governor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BLAINE WILHOUR, ILLINOIS STATE REPRESENTATIVE: The majority of them said they're not going to enforce this because it's unconstitutional and it's not enforceable. And, Tucker, man, I think that we are in danger of losing our country if we don't stand up, if we don't wake up. And, you know, I didn't leave the farm to go to the General Assembly to stand by and watch somebody like J.B. Pritzker trashed our Constitution.


Joining us now is the Democratic governor of Illinois, J.B. Pritzker, who's joining us from the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. It's why he's got that beautiful backdrop behind him.

But, Governor, the legal battles against this bill are -- that you signed into law are already underway. Do you think it's going to be able to withstand those challenges?

GOV. J.B. PRITZKER (D-IL): Well, the NRA said they were going to challenge this in court because they couldn't win in the legislature. Frankly, the vast majority of the people of the state supported assault weapons ban. And it's a lot of political grandstanding by elected Republican sheriffs, you're hearing from.

The truth is that there's nothing for them to enforce at this point. The fact is that right now, we have one year for people to register the serial numbers of their assault weapons that are in existence. And, of course, we've outlawed the purchase or sale of any of those types of weapons in Illinois going forward. So I think you're just seeing a lot of politics. And we'll let the courts play it out.

COLLINS: For the Sheriffs who say they're not going to enforce that ban for people -- or they're not going to enforce it and go around and go door-to-door and make sure people have registered those weapons. What do you say to them?

PRITZKER: Well, there's no going door to door or knocking on people's doors, asking them to see their weapons or that they've registered them. So that's, again, a lot of political grandstanding. They took an oath of office, though, to enforce the law. And when the law goes into effect where someone is caught with a weapon that isn't registered, they'll enforce it.

I mean, we have lots of law enforcement in the state of Illinois. Elected sheriffs are just one level of law enforcement. We have local police. We have state police. Lots of folks who will hold people accountable. But these sheriffs know better. They know that their voters won't stand for it if they're not enforcing the law.

And one last thing you showed one of the very, very small minority of legislators who voted against this thing who has been claiming all along that this is unconstitutional. The fact is that it's in existence, this assault weapons ban in eight other states were simply the ninth. COLLINS: That is true, you are simply the ninth. But a question of the courts and whether or not this can withstand those challenges. Just last week, we heard from Justices Thomas and Alito who were basically sending a clear message that they believe those who should keep the pressure on the courts gun rights owners, that they should keep the pressure on the courts.

So I guess my question is what's driving your competence that this law you signed, will be able to stand the challenges from courts.

PRITZKER: The fact that there have been challenges of other states assault weapons bans, we're simply copying, frankly, what's been done in other states. In fact, ours is perhaps one of the most stringent, but it fits within the confines of what is constitutional and acceptable. Lots of constitutional scholars have said that about our law.

But, again, who knows? This Supreme Court certainly a very right wing one and we'll have to let the courts play this out. I don't think Alito and Thomas are the deciding factor though in an assault weapons ban. We're not allowing people to, you know, in the United States to have, you know, massive weapons of war, you know, where they get the fire -- shoulder fired missiles or anything like that. And, you know, that assault weapons are killing literally dozens of people at a time, and injuring many, many more.


So this is the type of weapon that should be kept off the streets. We're not taking anybody's guns away. By the way, no guns are being confiscated under this law. We are stopping the sale and future acquisition of these kinds of weapons, though.

COLLINS: You're in Davos right now. And there was a moment on stage yesterday where you were critical of lawmakers who you said had been reluctant to help President Biden get his agenda passed. You were sitting on stage with Senator Kyrsten Sinema and Senator Joe Manchin.

I want to play a moment from yesterday of what happened as you guys were sitting there on stage together.


PRITZKER: Let me say about the current president of the United States, he has gotten things done. Now he has worked with some reluctant members of his own party. He's worked with some reluctant members of the opposite party, but we have gotten things done for the United States at the federal level under this president.

SEN. KYRSTEN SINEMA (I-AZ): And so while some would say that there were reluctant folks working in Congress in the last two years. I would actually say that that was the basis for the productivity for some incredible achievements that made a difference for the American people in the last two years.

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): We still don't agree on getting rid of the filibuster.

SINEMA: That's correct.

MANCHIN: Correct?


COLLINS: You see that high five there at the end for Manchin and Sinema. What was your reaction to that?

PRITZKER: Well, look, I am glad that they voted for the president's plan. But the fact is, they've held up a whole bunch of other things like voting rights legislation.

And look, I think that the president did an amazing job, really persevering very difficult circumstances with a couple of Democrats who really weren't working together with other members of the party. So I am glad that we got a lot done. I wish we could get more done. And I actually think that now that it's 51-49, we will get more done in the Senate. The problem, of course, now is Kevin McCarthy in the House and the, you know, the radical right wing in the House that's basically in control now of that legislature.

COLLINS: You also talked about inflation while you're in Davos and talking about how difficult, and you believe it's going to be to get to that two percent goal that we've heard analysts have here. Do you think it's time for the Federal Reserve to rethink its strategy of raising interest rates?

PRITZKER: I -- look, I think they should focus on bringing down inflation. But the reality is that you can't raise interest rates forever. And you don't want the United States to go into a serious recession. I think that you're seeing a slowing down of our economy, and you're seeing a -- you know, a reduction of inflation. And I think that's just right. They should be cognizant of that and careful as they move forward about, you know, how much they're raising the interest rates.

COLLINS: Governor, you're also obviously as you know, a prominent Democrat and the Biden administration has been facing criticism, even from some in your party recently, over the handling of the classified documents situation that is now being investigated by a special counsel at the Justice Department.

One matter of contention is that it took several months before when those documents were discovered on November 2nd, and when they were actually reported on January 9th, when the public became aware of them, which was only because CBS News had reported it, do you believe the White House has fumbled the response here on having these classified documents in President Biden's possession?

PRITZKER: Well, I think it's appropriate to have an independent counsel and for the White House to be fully transparent. But I got to tell you that it -- this is vastly different than the situation with Trump, where he was literally hiding documents and refusing to turn them over. Whereas this White House has turned them over and has, in fact, encouraged an investigation.

So, you know, I want to say that as fast as people found them, they should turn them over, but vastly different than what happened with the Mar-a-Lago incident where they literally had to raid Mar-a-Lago in order to recover those documents.

COLLINS: It is very different scenarios. We've covered them both as such, but do you think that the White House has been forthcoming enough about these documents since they did not make this information publicly known?

PRITZKER: Well, I don't know all the circumstances around the timing of the finding of the documents and whether they knew that they were classified at the moment that they discovered them and all the protocols involved.

What I can tell you is that they have worked very hard to find any other documents. As you've seen, they've turned over and the others that they've come across, I think they came across one more. But again, I think there should be an investigation. I think that having an independent counsel is the right thing to do and that the White House needs to be fully transparent about this.


COLLINS: Governor, before I let you go, I lived in Washington for several years. There are often conversations among Democrats about who might have presidential ambitions. Your name has come up in some of those conversations that I've had. You were in New Hampshire last year giving a speech. You were also in Florida giving a speech as well. Do you have presidential ambitions? Have you thought about running for a higher office?

PRITZKER: Well, I traveled the country to support Democrats across the nation. And you saw that we were successful, at least holding back a tide of, you know, red wave, and did very well in Illinois, I might add.

So, look, I fully intend to serve out four years as governor of Illinois, and I intend to support the president in his reelection bid. He said he's running. I hope that we'll have a convention in the city of Chicago in order to celebrate that and to nominate him and put him forward for re-election and he will get reelected in '24.

COLLINS: But have you ever thought about it?

PRITZKER: My focus is on all the challenges we have in the state of Illinois.

COLLINS: All right. Governor Pritzker, thank you so much. I know you got a busy day there in Davos. Thank you for taking some time to join us to weigh in on all of these really important issues.

PRITZKER: Glad to be with you.

LEMON: So he's saying there's a chance. Everybody's thought about it. Other politicians have thought about it, don't you think?

COLLINS: I think a lot of them. I mean, he's certainly been asked about it many times including there, of course.

LEMON: Instead of pushing George Santos to quit, Republicans just appointed him to two House committees. Marjorie Taylor Greene also appointed to two key committees. That's next.