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CNN This Morning

1.3 Million plus Without Power as Storms Bring Sleet, Snow; Fighting Intensified for Control Of Eastern City of Bakhmut; Tennessee Becomes First State In 2023 To Restrict Drag Performances; Eli Lilly To Cut Insulin Prices, Cap Costs At $35 Per Month. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired March 04, 2023 - 08:00   ET



AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Good and happy morning wherever you are. Welcome to CNN This Morning. It is Saturday, March 4. I'm Amara Walker.

PAULA REID, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Paul Reid in for Boris Sanchez. Amara, it's been great to be with you this morning.

WALKER: It's been lovely to have you. Thank you so much for getting up so early and joining us.

REID: Of course.

WALKER: Here's what we're watching this morning.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It just came up, 20 seconds later, it was gone. And I mean, total chaos wind coming, glass breaking out everywhere. First tornado I've ever been in.


WALKER: Severe storms sweeping through the south, at least 10 or dead, more than a million without power. Look at the damage and where that system is this morning.

REID: And the White House rolls out another $400 million in aid for Ukraine as fierce fighting continues in the eastern part of the country, our Alex Marquardt with a look at the battle for Bakhmut.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Liar in the state and he admitted that. He's not a murderer.


WALKER: Murdaugh will spend the rest of his life in prison after being convicted for murdering his wife and son. Reaction from his attorneys and what's next for Murdaugh who still faces dozens of charges. Plus, public and drag shows are now illegal in Tennessee. It's just the latest in a string of laws targeting the LGBTQ community, the impact those laws are having coming up on CNN This Morning.

REID: And this morning, more than 1.3 million people are without power in the eastern United States as a deadly storm system continues to move north. In the last 24 hours at least 10 people were killed in multiple states due to the severe weather that brought tornadoes and major flooding to parts of the South.

The majority of those deaths were in Kentucky where hurricane force winds ripped trees from the ground and even toppled tractor trailer trucks. In Indiana, the high winds tore the roof off of a church. And in one town, a man says God saved his life after a tornado swept through his property. But his -- but left him and is home untouched.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The backstory started shaking, the house started shaking and then I couldn't see nothing but white. We didn't have time to get anywhere. It was like right on top of this. The house has shaken. We were all close together in the middle room of the house still. That wow is the craziest thing I've ever been involved in.


WALKER: Yeah, I bet now the Northeast is bracing for heavy snow that could bring some dangerous conditions.

REID: Let's go now to meteorologist Allison Chinchar, who has been tracking all the weather in the CNN Weather Center. Allison not uncommon to have snow in New England. But this is a little unusual. What can you tell us?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: And it's pretty intense at times. And that's the problem is for travel concerns, you're going to have near whiteout conditions in some of these areas as those heavier bands of snow continue to push across areas of New England this morning and kind of wrapping up later on this afternoon. You've got rain along the coast, but really just a few miles inland, you quickly see that transition over into that snow and in some of these areas, it's quite heavy snow, mix that in with the wind and you've got those near whiteout conditions making travel very difficult.

Some of these areas of New York have already picked up over a foot of snow. Areas of Maine, New Hampshire, right around that half of a foot mark and you've got more on the way not so much necessarily. In New York, most of those areas an extra one to three inches at most elsewhere farther east, you're talking four to six inches, but that's on top of what they've already had.

Now, we talked about the wind component to, that's taking that snow and blowing it around causing very poor visibility. But the other concern even as you go further south where they don't necessarily have the snow component to it. It's still gusty enough that you could bring trees down triggering additional power outages on top of the ones we already have because a lot of these wind gust, you're talking 60 to even 70 miles per hour in some cases.

The good news however is that we will finally see this system come to an end by tonight. Most of these areas I would say by dinnertime really seeing the bulk of it and but certainly by the time most people go to bed this evening, all of that beginning to ramp back up. And then other than the wind which is expected to linger through the night not really much going on in the eastern half of the country. Then the next system begins to make its way into the West Coast over the next 24 to 48 hours, ladies, that's going to be another system we have to keep a very close eye on for some additional heavy snow and also rainfall.

REID: Allison Chinchar, thank you. Now, for the fierce fighting in Ukraine. The Russian Wagner mercenary group says the city of Bakhmut is all but surrounded. Russian troops also launched artillery fire north of the city but Ukraine says its forces are holding their ground around Bakhmut. And that its forces have turned back several attacks in the region.


WALKER: Attorney General Merrick Garland made an unannounced visit to Ukraine and he joined President Zelenskyy at the United for Justice Conference. Zelenskyy is calling on international prosecutors to hold Russia accountable for its invasion of Ukraine and the crimes that it has committed. The U.S. says evidence shows Russia has committed crimes against humanity.

Now, on the ground, Russian forces attacked a key bridge linking the city of Bakhmut to a nearby village as Ukraine tries to evacuate 5000 civilians. CNN Senior National Security Correspondent Alex Marquardt joining us now live from Eastern Ukraine.

Alex, yeah, update us on the situation there. And if we can talk a little bit about why we're talking so much about Bakhmut and its significance?

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is a major city in eastern Ukraine. This is an incredibly tough fight and it has been for quite some time. Russian forces are trying to encircle the Ukrainian forces they appear to have done so on three sides, they're trying to push the Ukrainian forces out on that last remaining side, the western side of the city.

Russian forces have now destroyed that critical bridge on what has been Ukraine's main supply route to supply their forces, reinforce their troops into Bakhmut. Take a look.


MARQUARDT: A lifeline for Ukraine's forces severed. This destroyed bridge near Bakhmut on the last main supply route to the front, bomb, a Ukrainian soldier told CNN by a Russian missile, meaning reinforcing troops or getting people out immediately becoming harder. We were on that road near Bakhmut. Military vehicles bombing towards the fight and coming back. The V sign for victory. Russian forces have made progress at encircling the city, leaving only the West open to Ukrainian troops. The ferocious fighting has left thousands dead on both sides. Wagner forces which have led the Russian charge have paid a particularly high price.

Today, Wagner's leader Yevgeny Prigozhin on the outskirts of Bakhmut released a video claiming, "the pincers are tightening." He called on President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to withdraw his troops saying give them a chance to leave the city.

Prigozhin regularly exaggerates Wagner's gains. Ukraine blasted today's video as part of a disinformation campaign. But Ukrainian commanders admit there are facing withering Russian attacks. The Eastern commander posted photos today of a visit to Bakhmut where he was briefed on the problems with Ukrainian defenses despite no announcement of a withdrawal some possible signs have appeared. This Bakhmut rail bridge strategically bombed by Ukrainian soldiers to make it impossible.

The head of a Ukrainian reconnaissance unit, saying they received an order to immediately leave Bakhmut without giving a reason.

Neighboring (inaudible) soldiers from an artillery unit told us they have no plans to stop fighting here, fearing what could then happen.

The problem is not just Russia taking Bakhmut, Otapiy (ph) says that will not stop and will keep destroying the next cities. We need to wait for reinforcements to come and then kick them out.


MARQUARDT: For now, there is no sign or mention of a Ukrainian withdrawal. If Russia were to take Bakhmut it would be a major victory for Russia, especially after several months of significant fighting. But it is up for debate how strategic of victory it would be whether they could actually use that as a jumping off point to push deeper into eastern Ukraine, especially because they would be in such a weakened state after this fierce battle. Paula, Amara?

WALKER: Alex Marquardt, appreciate your reporting as always. Thank you very much for that.

And the Biden administration is sending Ukraine more security assistance. The latest package of weapons and artillery totals about $400 million.

CNN's White House Reporter Priscilla Alvarez joins us now with details. Good morning, Priscilla. What are some of the weapons in this aid package.

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: This is primarily ammunition support and support equipment part again of the U.S. effort to provide military assistance to Ukraine as it goes into that second year of war. So that includes for example, artillery rounds, demolition munitions, and other tactical equipment for Ukrainian forces on the ground there.

Now, this marks the 33rd drawdown of U.S. inventories in support of Ukraine since the invasion of Russia.


And again part of that concerted effort since President Biden visited last month and it is a top priority for the Biden administration. Just yesterday, President Biden met with German Chancellor Scholz at the White House where the two reaffirmed their support for Ukraine and Biden thanked the German Chancellor for his, "strong and steady leadership."

Now, Scholz has been a critical partner to the United States and a crisis leader in Europe as this war has unfolded. And a Senior Administration official said that the meeting was in part, if not largely to talk about coordination when it comes to Ukraine and working together on that front.

And it came against the backdrop of intelligence that suggests that China is considering providing lethal aid to Russia. So the two of them as you saw they're sitting down having a lengthy meeting to discuss Ukraine as the United States continues their military or security support with that $400 million package. Amara, Paula?

REID: Priscilla Alvarez, thank you.

And joining us now to discuss is former CNN Moscow Bureau Chief Jill Dougherty. She also serves as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. Thank you so much for being with us. As you know, Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with his Russian counterpart this past week for the first time since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Naturally, Blinken says that the war was one of the main topics. So what do you believe is his message to Russia? We're more than a year into this war now?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, we know there were three things that he talked about, at least according to the administration, one was continuing support for Ukraine. The other was new start, which is that arms control agreement that Russia now says that it is not cooling out of the putting on the shelf for a while. That's great concern in the United States about that.

And then the final thing that we understand, Secretary Blinken talked about was Paul Whelan, who is an American who's being held by the Russians. Now, it's interesting when you look at how the Russians reported on that meeting, they said, well, it was brief, and it was 10 minutes. But basically, they just kind of blew it off. And even the spokesperson for the foreign ministry said, no, they didn't talk about Paul Whelan. And so I think, you know, what we're getting from this, and from what is happening in Russia right now, Paula, is that President Putin is showing no sign of changing his idea that he's going to continue to prosecute this war. And he continues to really up the ante, in the way he describes it, you know, he is constantly now saying, this is not just Ukraine, this is the West, the entire, you know, collective West, that's against us that wants to destroy Russia. So I think you can read the tea leaves here. This, unfortunately, is at least from the Russian perspective, is going to go on for a long time. REID: And of course, there's a fierce battle going on right now for control of the eastern city of Bakhmut. Russia says it's all but surrounded but Ukraine says its forces are holding their ground. Why is this such a key battle?

DOUGHERTY: No, I think it's just become one thing that Putin wants to win. And strategically, as our military analysts have pointed out on reporters, it's not that strategic, but it's a point that they want to prove. But I think, you know, there are other things that are going on, that worry the Kremlin, and one of them is kind of an odd situation a couple of days ago, where a group -- it's kind of like a partisan group, went over the border from Ukraine into Russia, killed a couple of people, and the Russians described it as a terrorist group. But very interestingly, this was in the area of this called Bryansk. And Bryansk, President Putin was supposed to show up there, he had to cancel his truck. And then he had a video conference with his Security Council. And he ordered them to, you know, to find ways to protect security installations from terrorists.

So I think there is concern, you've got more and more penetration of that border, and the war moving now into Russia, not in a big way. But drones, and you know, incursions like this. So the Kremlin is now trying to say, we can protect ourselves. But look at this, you know, these terrorists are after us. So there is a high component not only of a fight, a military fight, but the propaganda and the messaging about this, that for the Kremlin is really important to try to keep the Russian people supporting this war.

REID: And the U.S. is rolling out another security package for Ukraine, this time, totaling about $400 million. It includes ammunition and other equipment. As you know, there are some people in this country who question why we're sending that money to Ukraine. So, what does this aid mean right now for what's happening on the ground?


DOUGHERTY: Well, you know, if you have the fight going on in Ukraine, you also have these political issues back at home. They're here in the United States with primarily very conservative people who say, we don't need to spend money on Ukraine. Let's spend it here. So there's criticism that Biden is facing at home.

In Germany, they have some of the same thing that, you know -- and in other countries. I was looking at Estonia is having elections coming up very shortly. And it was kind of a similar debate, you know. So I think what the allies are trying to do is keep everybody on the same page, and continue to have that unity, because the one thing that Putin wants to do is tear apart that unity. So that's -- that is main thing. The other big factor that we'd have to point out is this concern about China. Because if China does decide, and it appears, according to the U.S. government, that they're considering this and providing lethal weapons to Russia, that could be a problem. So right now, there's a concerted effort to send that message to China do not do this.

REID: And on this idea of unity, President Biden says it's not just military support, but it's the moral support for Ukraine. That's key right now. I mean, can the alliance hold that together and keep supporting Ukraine?

DOUGHERTY: Well, nobody really knows but it seems to be holding, Ukraine is holding strong, but there are pressures it's so far it seems to be holding.

REID: Jill Dougherty, thank you so much.


WALKER: All right, still ahead, Alex Murdaugh is sentenced to life in prison for the murders of his wife and son. Reaction from his attorneys to the sentencing and why they vow to appeal. And what about the dozens of other charges Murdaugh is facing.

Plus, remaining behind bars, the man accused of trying to bring explosives on a plane in order to stay in jail pending a trial. The reason the judge gave for that detainment, that's next.



REID: Actor Tom Sizemore has passed away after suffering a brain aneurysm. Sizemore was hospitalized earlier this month and had been in a coma in intensive care. Sizemore appeared in a number of hate crime and war movies in the 1990s and early 2000s. But he was of course best known for his role in Saving Private Ryan as Sergeant Mike Horvath. Sizemore was 61 years old.

And former South Carolina Attorney Alex Murdaugh will spend the rest of his life behind bars. He was given two consecutive life sentences with no possibility of parole. The hearing yesterday.

WALKER: Yeah, Murdaugh was taken for processing immediately after the sentence was handed down. He will undergo medical tests and mental assessments before being sent to a maximum-security prison. CNN's Randi Kaye has more.


JUDGE CLIFTON NEWMAN, SOUTH CAROLINA CIRCUIT COURT: I sentence you for term or the rest of your natural life.

RANDI KAYE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Alex Murdaugh given two life sentences for the murder of his wife and son.

NEWMAN: I know you have to see Paul and Maggie during the night time when you're attempting to go to sleep. I'm sure they come and visit you.

ALEX MURDAUGH: All day in every night.

KAYE: After more than a month in the courtroom, jurors took about three hours Thursday to convict Murdaugh of murder for his wife, Maggie and 22-year-old son, Paul, who were found fatally shot on the family's property in June 2021, a juror told ABC.

CRAIG MOYER, JUROR IN ALEX MURDAUGH TRIAL: I didn't see any true remorse.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did he know he wasn't crying?

MOYER: Because I saw his eyes, I was this closed to him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So it's basically 45 minutes for you guys to come to a decision?

MOYER: Probably about 45 maybe an hour.

KAYE: Murdaugh once a prominent lawyer in the area took the stand last week in his own emotional defense. Maintaining he found the bodies after returning from a brief visit to his mother that night. Despite cell phone video placing him at the scene.

NEWMAN: Remind me of the expression you gave on the witness stand was it -- or what tangle we wave, what do you mean by that?

MURDAUGH: Net when I lied I continue to lie.

KAYE: The defense relied heavily on Murdaugh's opioid addiction to account for his deception and lies about his whereabouts something the judge and jury didn't buy.

NEWMAN: They've concluded that you continue to lie and lied throughout your testimony. not credible, not believable.

KAYE: Despite all the circumstantial evidence against him. Murdaugh maintained he was not guilty.

MURDAUGH: I'm innocent. I would never, under any circumstances hurt my wife, Maggie. And I would never under any circumstances hurt my son, Pawpaw.

NEWMAN: And it might not have been you. It might have been the monster you become when you take 15, 20, 30, 40, 50,60 opioid pills.

KAYE: Still, Murdaugh's defense team says they wouldn't have done anything differently.

RICHARD HARPOOTLIAN, ALEX MURDAUGH'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: He's a liar and is a thief. And he admitted that. He's not a murderer. We saw a relationship between Paul and Alex that just inexplicable that he would execute his son and his wife in that fashion.

CREIGHTON WATERS, LEAD PROSECUTOR: No one who thought they were close knew who he really was. And Your Honor, that's chilling.


KAYE: And Paula, Amara, when I interviewed Alex Murdaugh defense lawyers, they told me they do plan to appeal within 10 days that would be on the grounds of these alleged financial crimes being introduced in court. They didn't believe that all of those should have been introduced. They were expecting just some of them but when they all came into play, his defense lawyers told me that is when they believe they lost the jury, their best hope at that point they thought it was a hung jury or a mistrial. Back to you.


WALKER: That's what they got, clearly. Randi Kaye, Thank you.

A man is facing federal charges after a scary situation at an airport in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

REID: The suspect was arrested and charged after he packed explosives in a suitcase and tried to board a flight to Florida. CNN's Danny Freeman has more on the alarming discovery.


DANNY FREEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A judge ordered Marc Muffley to be detained pending trial saying he posed a danger to the community and was a flight risk. Muffley is accused of trying to bring explosives in his suitcase onto a plane Monday. Although his attorney argued the device was merely the innards of a firework and had no way of being remotely detonated.

According to court documents, the 40-year-old checked his bag at Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley International Airport just after 10:45 a.m. he was heading to Orlando Sanford Airport in Florida. But during a TSA screening of the luggage before being loaded on the plane, agents discovered a circular compound approximately three inches in diameter, wrapped in a wax like paper and clear plastic wrap hidden in the lining of the baggage.

JOHN MILLER, CNNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT & INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: It was hidden. It's an indicator that Mr. Muffley allegedly knew that he wasn't supposed to be bringing that on an airplane.

FREEMAN: The criminal complaint said an FBI safety bomb technician x- rayed the bag and deemed it an explosive device. The technician found the compound contained to powder consistent with commercial grade fireworks, two fuses were attached to the circular compound.

ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: The first use of the commercial fire interior essentially elements the powder from a commercial grade firework reminds me immediately of the Boston Marathon bombing. You know it's not a high explosive like TTP or something that we see foreign terrorists use, but it can be a very, very effective and very lethal weapon if used in the right way.

FREEMAN: According to the affidavit the baggage also contains a can of butane, a lighter a pipe with white powder residue, a wireless drill with cordless batteries and two GFCI outlets taped together with black tape.

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, if the items had ignited they could do great damage to a plane, a fire and a cargo hold could bring down the plane it could put a hole in the wall of the plane.

FREEMAN: According to the court documents TSA agents paged roughly over the airport intercom system asking him to report to the security desk soon after he was seen on security cameras leaving the airport. He was arrested at his home late Monday night.

MILLER: It does not appear that it was set to go off on the airplane. But let's put all that aside. The system worked the machinery sniffed it out.

FREEMAN: Now, court records show that Muffley has been charged with several other crimes in Pennsylvania in the past, but they have been lesser charges like possession of a controlled substance harassment and minor theft. If convicted of these federal charges, though, Muffley faces up to 15 years in prison. He has not yet entered a plea. Danny Freeman, CNN, Allentown Pennsylvania.


REID; Thank you, Danny. Still ahead an attack on LGBTQ rights as Tennessee becomes the first state to restrict drag performances this year, the Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force joins us to discuss what this all means.



WALKER: This week, Tennessee became the first state to ban public drag performances in 2023. Governor Bill Lee signed off on the legislation without issuing a statement or having a public ceremony. Across the country, conservative activists and politicians have argued that drag contributes to the sexualization or grooming of children.

Now, according to the ACLU, more than 370 anti-LGBTQ measures have been proposed across the U.S. Just look at that map. Laws that range from prohibiting gender affirming care to transgender youth to banning same sex marriage.

Joining me now is Kierra Johnson, she is the executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force. This is a very important conversation. I'm so glad you're joining us this morning. Thank you so much for your time.

So the argument that I keep hearing, especially from, you know, lawmakers and politicians, and those who support these kinds of measures is they say, look, this is about protecting children, at least when it comes to this drag build, the first of its kind passed in Tennessee, in public. What do you say to that?

KIERRA JOHNSON, EXEC. DIR., NATIONAL LGBTQ TASK FORCE: I say, give me a break. There are so many ways that young people kids need to be protected. If you really care about protecting kids, then let's protect them from guns, right? If we really are interested in protecting kids, let's make sure foster care systems are actually conducive to helping young people thrive and placing them in loving homes.

This is just a distraction. This is about controlling LGBTQ people. This is about controlling, taking power away from people and that's really it.

WALKER: And can you talk to us about the effect that this will have on LGBT communities that you are a part of as well, when we're talking about not just Tennessee, but anywhere, right? I mean, because this is drag -- drag is an important part of queer culture, isn't it?

JOHNSON: Absolutely. And we're seeing attacks on multiple fronts. So we're seeing attacks on health care for trans people. We're seeing attacks on information with banning -- the bannings of books where LGBTQ people are characters.

It's happening on so many fronts, and we know when we deny, affirming support to people, when we deny their humanity, when we deny human and civil -- human rights and civil rights, that destroys individuals but it also destroys communities.


And that's why we're here in Florida, we are raising money to put back into the community so that people can fight these bills, both here in Florida and around the country.

WALKER: When we talk about the impact of these kinds of bills that specifically target the LGBT community, let's talk about, you know, that just the emotional impact, right, because there are real life consequences, especially when you see studies, like the one that came from, you know, the Trevor Project that a quarter of black, transgender and non-binary youth reporting a suicide attempt in the past year.

It also found that black and non-binary young people reported higher rates of anxiety, and depression. And I can only imagine that these kinds of laws will make transgender youth, you know, and that was in the LGBT community to feel even more marginalized.

JOHNSON: That's exactly right. And to your earlier point, if we -- if the goal is really protecting young people, how do you hear these stats and think that you're helping? How do you think you're really supporting young people when we see rises and attempted suicide, when we see rise and depression?

We saw 300 anti-LGBTQ bills last year, 29 of them signed into law. And it's only March. And we've seen two dozen of these anti-bills signed into law. We've got work to do, which means we've got to defend against this misinformation.

We've got to tell our stories, and we've got to organize. We've got to be organizing our community and talking to our elected officials and putting real pressure on them.

WALKER: We do want to mention, so Governor Bill Lee sign that bill, this Tennessee becoming the first state to pass a ban on public drag shows. And then he also signed a ban on gender affirming health care for youth. Again, back to the drag shows, this is Tennessee being the first state.

Are you concerned that, you know, other states are going to follow like what's the big picture here? What do you think the end goal is?

JOHNSON: I do. I think extremists have latched on to LGBT fear. It's the strangest thing. I mean, there's so much going on in our country and yet, we are seeing a proliferation of attacks on our community. What I do feel hopeful about though is that we're not sitting back quietly, right?

We are leaned in and we are engaging. Actually, just send a tweet to Kiss, the band who's supposed to be performing in Tennessee and I'm like, hey, y'all like, here's an opportunity to educate and advocate. Let's get our big stars in on this. And let's put these elected feet to the fire.

WALKER: Oh, your advocacy is inspiring. And hey, let us know if if Kiss responds to your calls. Thank you so much, Kierra Johnson for the conversation. Thank you so much.

JOHNSON: Thank you so much for letting me be here with you all.

WALKER: Of course.

REID: And still had this morning, welcome news for people who suffer from diabetes. Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly is cutting the price and capping the cost of insulin for many in need. We'll have details after the break.



WALKER: A lesion removed from President Biden's chest last month has come back as a form, a common form of skin cancer. Biden's Dr. Kevin O'Connor said on Friday that the biopsy tested positive for basal cell carcinoma and that all the cancerous tissue has been removed.

REID: Biden will meet though to continue dermatological surveillance going forward. Back in February, Dr. O'Connor reported that Biden remains healthy and is fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency.

And pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly is cutting the price and capping the cost of insulin for many in need. Millions of people who suffer from diabetes depend on insulin to survive every day. But a study released in October found that more than a million people regularly rationed insulin because of high costs.

WALKER: Now Eli Lilly says it will automatically cap out of pocket insulin costs at $35 for certain people who use it. Now the CEO calls us an effort to close gaps in the U.S. healthcare system and cited CNN is reporting about the struggle many Americans face to afford insulin. A new report from the American Cancer Society shows that cholesterol cancer is on the rise among younger adults. About one and five cases now in people younger than 55. And doctors are seeing more advanced disease among all new cases.

REID: And this cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the United States. CNN Health Reporter Jacqueline Howard has more from this report.

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Scientists say it's still a mystery as to what is driving this rise in colorectal cancer in younger ages. So many factors could play a role here, people's diets or cancer causing elements in the environment.

But what this means for the future? The American Cancer Society projects will see more than 150,000 people diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year. And more than 50,000 people will die from the disease this year. Many of those could be among young people.


When you look at the proportion of cases, among ages younger than 55, that has been increasing over the years going from 11 percent in 1995, to 20 percent in 2019. And the proportion of all new cases that are advanced has been rising as well from 57 percent in 1995 to 60 percent in 2019.

The American Cancer Society's Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. William Dahut told me that this means it's so important for people to get screened when eligible so we can catch cancers early. Have a listen.


DR. WILLIAM DAHUT, CHIEF SCIENTIFIC OFFICER, AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY: I think folks need to follow the guidelines for screening. I think there's clear evidence that if people follow guidelines for screening, they're more likely to find a cancer earlier where it's treatable, and less likely to have a significant problems from the disease.


HOWARD: And for most people, it's recommended to start screening at age 45, and other ways to reduce your colorectal cancer risk. ramp up your exercise, eat a healthy diet, stay at a healthy weight, watch how much alcohol you drink and avoid smoking. All of those can play a role in living healthy.

REID: And still ahead, beyond the call of duty, the story of a remarkable friendship between a young boy and the paramedics and firefighters who saved his life as a newborn. How those first responders are still coming to his aid eight years later.



REID: Firefighters in Green Bay who once saved the life of a newborn have come to his aid once again eight years later.

WALKER: That's remarkable. The boy known to them as Little Doug was in need of a life-saving heart surgery. CNN's Adrienne Broaddus shows us how they went beyond the call of duty to rescue Little Doug once again.




ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Behl family kitchen --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Still I'll fight.

BROADDUS (voice-over): -- is a battleground for Little Doug.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need to throw the stuff out.

BROADDUS (voice-over): But his parents, Doug Sr. and Cami say playful moments like this almost didn't happen because their son was born at home premature.

CAMI BEHL, MOTHER: He was about five and a half weeks early.

DOUGH BEHL SR., FATHER: His eyes were open but he wasn't breathing. Chad had him in his hand and he was carrying them downstairs.

BROADDUS (voice-over): That's Chad Bronkhorst.


BROADDUS (voice-over): Now a battalion chief for the Green Bay Metro Fire Department. These three were among the six firefighters and paramedics responding to the unresponsive newborn call eight years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're doing a two finger for a while and then you're doing a thumb for a while.

BRONKHORST: I'll never forget when he left out a little bit of a scream. We're high fiving in the back of the truck.


C. BEHL: They came to visit him in the hospital. They brought him a stuffed animal he still has.

BROADDUS (voice-over): They've kept in touch attending birthday parties, trips to the fire station. And then this summer, when a mechanical pump that does what Doug's heart can't began to fail, they showed up. D. BEHL: Just again being right there for us.

C. BEHL: So we were in the hospital at Milwaukee, they had put him on end of life care. That's where the firemen were such a blessing. Because they had such a strong belief in him. They just knew this is a little fighter here and he's going to make it and he's going to be OK.

BROADDUS (voice-over): They started a dollars for Doug fundraiser so he could open his own bank account. One of Doug's wishes.


BRONKHORST: Yes. I cried. It was a punch in the gut. Just because of the connection we had.

HUGUET: Him coming back from day one was a miracle. I was like, this miracle can't end.

BROADDUS (voice-over): Then a surprise, the firefighters weren't expecting. Dr. Adachi with Texas Children's Hospital in Houston took a chance by performing a lifesaving surgery.

DR. IKI ADACHI, SURGICAL DIRECTOR, TEXAS CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: Little Doug was making a history of our, you know, medical community. It's very rare. And he survived.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is what happens, keep taking chances.

BROADDUS (voice-over): Now, Doug is changing the batteries on the machine that pumps his heart and making big life deposits.

BRONKHORST: He has paid off in ways that you can't put any dollar amount on.

BROADDUS (voice-over): Adrienne Broaddus, CNN, Green Bay, Wisconsin.


WALKER: Oh my god, what a beautiful story and a beautiful bond that boy has with those firefighters.

REID: Absolutely, and a reminder of just how important our first responders are.

WALKER: Absolutely.

REID: And thanks so much for joining us. We'll be back in just about an hour.

WALKER: Smerconish is up next. But first, a quick reminder of the new CNN original film, "Glitch" premieres tomorrow on CNN. Here's a preview.


SCOTT ROGOWSKY, HQ HOST: I'm working with these guys who started vine and they want to do this Trivia show on an app. To me, identify hopes for it.

This is HQ. I'm Scott, the host.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: HQ Trivia was everywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You could actually win real money.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just kept getting bigger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bigger prizes, bigger celebrities.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People dressed as me for Halloween.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was doing today show, Colbert.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had a Super Bowl commercial.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This company is going to make at least $100 million.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It just got so popular. And the app is not ready to work with too many people on it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Freezing, disconnections and errorless.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it crashes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's when the crack started showing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Colin and Rus started as co-founders, but both competing to be the CEO.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you have a lack of trust between the two people running the company, it leads to chaos.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You had HQ imitations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're in trouble.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will Facebook copy this? They did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was some jealousy. I was the face of the product he created.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Working until midnight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really grueling hours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what did they do? They got drunk.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At the end of this, who lost their life?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why don't we -- yes, why don't we grab lunch and we can do separate lunch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Glitch. The Rise and Fall of HQ Trivia", tomorrow at 9:00 on CNN.



MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN ANCHOR: Has America support for Ukraine peaked? I'm Michael Smerconish in Philadelphia.