Return to Transcripts main page

CNN This Morning

At Least 23 Killed As Powerful Storms Rip Through Mississippi; Biden: U.S. Will Forcefully Protect" Americans In Syria; Trump Lawyer Appears Before Grand Jury In Classified Documents Probe; Drug Shortages Pose Threats To Health And National Security; Police Hunt For Four Gunmen, Driver After Philadelphia Shooting. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired March 25, 2023 - 08:00   ET



AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: All right, good morning, everyone. And welcome to CNN This Morning. Saturday, March 25. What? Victor, what? I'm Amara Walker. We're doing like another studio change.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Yeah. I'm Victor Blackwell. So here's what happened. The air conditioner, the studio didn't work. So we did the six o'clock hour in 80 degrees plus, lights.

WALKER: We were sweating.


WALKER: We were sweating.

BLACKWELL: And then we say we can't do this. So we moved to separate studios that were air conditioned during that hour at 7:00 they fixed the AC. Now, we're back in this studio. Hopefully it works.

WALKER: On your first weekend back with us, you brought the chaos.

BLACKWELL: I bring the heat.

WALKER: You brought heat.

BLACKWELL: I bring the heat.

WALKER: You sure did. I didn't like it so much, though.


WALKER: All right, here's what we're watching this morning.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When it came through sounds like helicopter real, real fast. And it came so fast and quick. We can do -- don't forget about the cup (ph).

(END VIDEO CLIP) WALKER: Severe storms rip through parts of the south more than 20 people are dead, more than 100,000 people without power. One Mississippi town is described as, "gone." We're going to take you there live.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: United States does not does, not emphasize seek conflict with Iran. But be prepared to frustrate forcefully protect our people.


BLACKWELL: President Biden hits back at Iranian militias after U.S. troops are injured in a drone attack. The questions now being raised about how that drone was able to get that close to the base?

WALKER: Another legal blow for former President Trump as some of his closest advisors are forced to testify in to Justice Department investigations. Why a judge says Trump cannot claim executive privilege to keep them from testifying?

BLACKWELL: Plus, a brazen attack caught on video. Men start shooting on a group or at a group of teenagers, what we know about how this happened. And the search now for those shooters.

It's Daybreak now and Mississippi and we're getting a closer look, a clearer look now at the damage done by a powerful and devastating storm that moved through the state last night. The storm system reportedly spawned multiple tornadoes that killed at least 23 people.

WALKER: The National Weather Service has confirmed a large tornado caused significant damage and several towns. Now, first responders are on the scene in the area northwest of Jackson. As you can see there, the storms just completely flattened homes and buildings knocked out power, as you said to more than 100,000 customers across Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When it came through sounds like helicopter real, real fast. And it came so fast and quick. We can do -- don't forget about the cup (ph).


BLACKWELL: Now, those storms are moving east with severe thunderstorms warnings up now across several parts of the southeast. Joining us now on the phone is the mayor of Rolling Fork, Mississippi Eldridge Walker.

Mayor, thank you for being with us. Some of the pictures we're seeing and what we're hearing about your city, devastation, describe for us what it is there, what the storm did and what's left?

MAYOR ELDRIDGE WALKER, ROLLING FORK, MISSISSIPPI: Well, as you just stated devastation. As I look from left to right, that's all I see. A lot of families here affected. A lot of families hurting. This community is in a situation that we never expected. But right now, it's important to me that these folks are taking care of, that our families who have been trapped are rescued and taken to the hospitals for emergency care. My city -- my city is gone. But we will resilient. And we're going to come back. We're going to come back strong.

WALKER: Sir, have you gotten any updates on the search efforts in terms of, you know, do you know of any that are -- people who have been located in debris and are currently being taken out?

E. WALKER: Yes, we have several victims who were affected that's been located who were trapped in their homes. Thank God, they've been rescued and taken to the emergency for triage.


And so we're thankful for the volunteers who are here from -- throughout the State of Mississippi who are helping us through this endeavor. We're just fortunate to have them here.

BLACKWELL: Are there -- I apologize for interrupting. Are there active rescue efforts happening right now?

E. WALKER: Rescue efforts are happening as we speak. They resumed early this morning. So now we can actually see what's happening and see where folk are, since daybreak. So the rescue missions are still taking place as we speak.

WALKER: Mr. Mayor, how about yourself, can you tell us about your experience, how you and your family fared, and perhaps others that you know, close to you?

E. WALKER: Well, we watched the news. And by the time we heard the warning, we took cover. And by the time my wife and I took cover, and in our bathroom in the tub, the storm had hit just that fast. And that's what we've experienced. We have family, we have friends, my community, people are most important to me right now. I want to make sure that they're OK. And we're going to do everything we can to -- do the best we can to bring Rolling Fork back. And to make sure that those families that are affected are taken care of. And my condolences to those families who have lost loved ones during this storm. That's what's happening.

BLACKWELL: The latest number that we have at least 23 killed in this storm. From the numbers we have more than half of those are in Sharkey County there, were Rolling Fork is. Do you have a number, and the latest number that you have for your city specifically?

E. WALKER: The last number reported to me was about 12. That's the last number that was reported. But that's been over two or three hours ago. I am about to hit to a meeting to get an update on the status of the situation right now.

WALKER: What advice can you give, Mr. Mayor, you know, to the people who were fortunate enough to at least make it out with their lives, I'm sure there are so many people now who don't have homes, or an apartment or condo to come back -- to come back to tonight?

E. WALKER: You're going to have to repeat yourself, someone else is talking in the background --

WALKER: Our apologies. Just your advice to people who have been through the worst with you?

E. WALKER: My advice to people, one, to be thankful that they're alive. Houses that are toned up, can be replaced, but we can replace life. So my advice to them is to stand still and wait on the first responders to take care of them. As we journey down this situation together. As I said, the City of Rolling Fork is resilient. And we're going to come back strong.

BLACKWELL: Mayor Walker, often with these tornadoes, tornado will touch down and cause great damage for a stretch and then pick back up and some areas are untouched. You say your town is gone? Have you been out around? I mean, what I'm looking at, it doesn't seem like there's much left? Are there any structures that you saw that had been spared by this storm at all?

E. WALKER: There are some structures -- structures that have been left. Some are not as damaged as others. As a matter of fact, I'm looking -- I'm on Highway 61 and I'm looking now at and I'm seeing one structure this steel standing, maybe two, but it's damaged. But it's still standing.

WALKER: Gosh, I just -- it's just hard to wrap our minds around what's happened there on the ground. I know you've got meetings to get to, so we're going to let you go from here. But listen, we could hear that you are shaking, understandably. And we thank you for leading in this time of crisis. And frankly, tragedy for your people. Mayor Eldridge Walker of Rolling Fork, Mississippi, thank you very much.

E. WALKER: Thank you.

WALKER: Let's take a look now at where the storm is heading next.

BLACKWELL: CNN Meteorologist Allison Chinchar is in the Weather Center. Before we get to what's next, I want to clarify and you can help me do this, Alison. At the top of the show, I said reports of multiple tornadoes, that should be, multiple reports of a tornado. Because this could be one storm, as I said that moved, dropped down again, picked up, drop down again, instead of several twisters?


ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yeah, no, that's a good point to bring up. And yes, let's kind of break that down. So in total, we have 12 tornado reports, just from the last 24 hours and about 60 damaging wind reports. But as you noted, when you look at the bulk of those reports, it really all forms this one straight line starting in Rolling Fork going all the way up just south of Huntsville.

Now, it may or may not have been on the ground the entire time, it may be what we call a jump or where it goes back up comes back down multiple times along the path. But there were other tornado warnings in numerous other places. So it's still likely we'll have more than one tornado total. But yes, this one long path here it is very possible. This was just one extremely long-lived tornado that caused such significant damage.

The one thing to note is this system is not done yet. Well today, we don't anticipate quite as severe of storms that we had yesterday, the system is still packing a punch on the northern end, the big concern is going to be snow and ice. But on the southern edge, we've still had numerous severe thunderstorm warnings throughout the morning. You've got a lot of lightning with these systems and some potential for still some damaging winds going forward today, there's going to be two separate areas of concern.

You've got this one off to the north here that includes areas of Virginia and Pennsylvania, but the secondary system down to the south. One thing to note though, is by late tonight, we will finally start to see an end to the main system, but a stationary front sets up along the southeast bringing additional rain and showers and thunderstorms to this area. So unfortunately, Victor and Amara, some of the same communities may get hit again tomorrow, even if it's not a tornado, just some stronger thunderstorms with damaging winds.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, these people have no homes --

WALKER: Right.

BLACKWELL: -- to go to.


WALKER: -- take shelter.

BLACKWELL: If the storm comes back. Allison Chinchar, thanks so much.

President Biden sends a message to Iran that the U.S. is not seeking a conflict, but we'll do what is necessary to protect Americans in the region. And those comments are following U.S. strike in Syria. It was a retaliation for an attack by an Iranian backed group in the country.

WALKER: Yeah, that drone strike killing an American contractor and injuring five servicemembers. President Biden says those kinds of attacks require a strong response. Details now from CNN Pentagon Correspondent Oren Liebermann.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Late night strike in northeast Syria, ambulances rushing to the scene as fire burns in the distance. U.S. striking what officials say were ammunition depots and intelligence sites used by militias linked to Iran Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The U.S. called the strike carried out by two F-15 fighters a proportionate and deliberate action. After a one-way drone attack killed an American contractor earlier Thursday near Hasakah in Syria, five U.S. service members and another contractor were wounded in the attack.

Early Friday morning, another U.S. base in Syria coming under attack from a barrage of 10 rockets, the Pentagon said, U.S. placing the blame on Iran.

BRIG. GEN. PATRICK RYDER, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: Iran certainly again backs these groups, and by default, therefore has a responsibility to ensure that they're not contributing to insecurity instability. But clearly, they continue to do that.

LIEBERMANN: Syria has become a crossroads of conflict in the Middle East. Iranian proxies have carried out rocket and drone attacks against U.S. forces. And Russia has begun flying armed fighters over U.S. positions in the country. For the U.S. and its footprint of about 900 troops in Syria, focus remains ISIS.

JOHN KIRBY, NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL COORDINATOR FOR STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS: We don't seek a war with Iran. We're not looking for an armed conflict with that country or another war in the region. We do seek to protect our mission in Syria, which is about defeating ISIS.

LIEBERMANN: On Thursday, the commander of U.S. Central Command, General Erik Kurilla, told the House Armed Services Committee hearing that Iran and its proxies have fired drones or rockets 78 times U.S. forces since the beginning of 2021, nearly one attack every 10 days.

GEN. MICHAEL "ERIK" KURILLA, COMMANDER, U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND: So what Iran does to hide its hand is they use Iranian proxies. That's either UAVs or rockets to be able to attack our forces in either Iraq or Syria.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are these considered acts of war by Iran?

KURILLA: They are being done by the Iranian proxies is what I would tell you, Congressman.

LIEBERMANN: The U.S. has carried out attacks against Iranian proxies in Syria before targeting either enemy infrastructure or launch vehicles used to attack U.S. forces.


LIEBERMANN: There was a similar type of escalation and back and forth strikes and attacks in August, after which a U.S. officials said they believed deterrence had been restored. And that's clearly no longer the case at this point. The question how does the Biden administration continue to respond? And does it believe at some point that it is possible to restore deterrence? That's the determination that the Biden administration needs to make.


One key factor to remember here at the beginning of the administration when it had to deal with these sorts of attacks from Iranian proxies there was the Iran deal in the potential negotiations around it to consider with that pretty much off the table that may open up Biden's options in terms of how to respond to this and what to do going forward. Victor and Amara?

BLACKWELL: All right, Oren, thanks so much. This morning, President Biden says he is confident the recent banking turmoil on Wall Street will pass and that people savings are secure. But he also says that it will take a little while for things to calm down.

WALKER: U.S. markets did rebound this week ending slightly higher despite concerns about the health of some European banks. And now investors are waiting to see what Congress uncovers next week when the House holds a hearing on the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. CNN's Matt Egan with the latest.

MATT EGAN, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Hey, Vitor and Amara. So banking jitters they continue to rattle U.S. markets, Wall Street experienced that yet more volatility on Friday as investors just wait for the next shoe to drop in this banking crisis. Investors are essentially going from the weakest link to the weakest link in the financial system.

Remember, first it was Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, then First Republic and Credit Suisse. And now all eyes are on Deutsche Bank. And Deutsche Bank shares, they tumbled almost 9% in Germany, amid concerns about a spike in the cost to insure the bank's debt against the fall. Of course, that is never a good sign.

I would note though that mostly Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank has been in turmoil for literally years. But the bank failures in the United States earlier this month, they really cause investors to take a tougher look at banks everywhere.

Officials in Europe they were quick to come out on Friday and say look, there's nothing to see here. Everything's fine. The chancellor of Germany said there's, "no reason to be concerned" about Deutsche Bank. U.S. officials they've also been keeping very close tabs on all of this banking turmoil. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen held a closed-door meeting with America's top financial regulators on Friday. And you've got to believe that Deutsche Bank came up. And all of this comes after the Fed pushed ahead with this war on inflation, despite calls from some experts to pause and avoid adding to the stress in the banking system.

On Friday, I asked Richmond Fed President, Tom Barkin about why the Fed raised rates in the face of all this turmoil? And he basically said the focus right now is squarely on fighting inflation. Listen.


TOM BARKIN, PRESIDENT, FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND: Inflation is high. Demand hadn't seemed to come down. And so the case for raising was pretty clear. The one thing that I hear loud and clear from everybody is that they hate inflation. They find inflation to be unfair. You get a raise, and then you have to go spend that raise at the gas station. That creates uncertainty. It's frankly exhausting.

(END VIDEO CLIP) EGAN: Of course, there are costs to getting inflation under control, potentially job loss. Also turmoil in the banking system like we're seeing now. And Barkin, he conceded that there is a risk that the stress in the banking system hurts the real economy by making it more expensive and harder for all of us to borrow. And he conceded that that could cause the Fed to stop raising interest rates soon. But at this point, no one not even the Fed knows exactly how all that's going to play out. Victor and Amara?

WALKER: Matt Egan appreciate it. Now aids close to former President Trump will now be forced to testify in two separate investigation after -- investigations after a federal judge says the former president cannot claim executive privilege. What this says about where the special counsel's investigation is headed.

BLACKWELL: Plus, the CDC reports a nearly 30% spike in drug shortages, we're joined by a surgeon live with more on how that impacts the country's hospitals and why he calls it a national security concern.



WALKER: All right, now to the latest on the investigations into Donald Trump. On Friday, a federal judge ordered some of the foreign President's closest aides to testify before a grand jury investigating those efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

BLACKWELL: Now, the decision came on the same day key Trump attorney was ordered to appear before another grand jury probe into Trump's handling of classified documents. CNN's Jessica Schneider has more for us.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Trump's closest advisors ordered to testify and two Justice Department probes, a federal judge rejecting Trump's claim of executive privilege ordering former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Senior Aide Stephen Miller and others to answer questions from a grand jury investigating efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER AIDE TO MARK MEADOWS: I remember leaning against the doorway and saying it's an interesting conversation as Rudy, Mark sounds like we're going to go to the Capitol.

DONALD TRUMP, (R) FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: We're going to walk down to the Capitol.

HUTCHINSON: He didn't look up from his phone and said something to the effect of, there's a lot going on Cass, but I don't know. Things might get real, real bad.

SCHNEIDER: Separately, Evan Corcoran, a top Trump attorney and a crucial witness and Special Counsel Jack Smith's classified documents probe spending nearly four hours testifying behind closed doors to a federal grand jury on Friday. Trump also fought in court to stop his testimony, but several judge's ruling Corcoran must divulge information about the conversations he had with former President Trump leading up to the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago last summer and that Corcoran must turn over handwritten notes documenting their interactions. FBI agents seized more than 100 classified documents from Mar-a-Lago in August.

TRUMP: They should give me immediately back everything that they've taken from because it's mine. It's mine.

SCHNEIDER: FBI agent sees more than 100 classified documents from Mar- a-Lago in August. And in November, the Attorney General appointed National Council Jack Smith to investigate among other things whether Trump obstructed the government's attempts to get back all of the classified material still in his possession after he left office.


Evan Corcoran crafted a statement in June 2022, claiming a diligent search had been conducted at Mar-a-Lago and that all classified documents had been returned. A source tells CNN prosecutors wanted to ask Corcoran about that statement and a June phone call between him and Trump that took place the same day a subpoena was issued for Mar- a-Lago surveillance footage that showed boxes being moved out of a storage room.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: You still have the surveillance tape, is that correct?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely, Sean.

SCHNEIDER: Sources tell CNN prosecutors have made clear that they believe Trump used Corcoran to advance a crime. A Trump spokesperson is fired back accusing the Justice Department of continuously stepping far outside the standard norms and an attempt to destroy the long accepted long held constitutionally based standards of attorney-client privilege and executive privilege.

TIMOTHY PARLATORE, ATTORNEY FOR DONALD TRUMP: From the beginning he has tried to cooperate.

SCHNEIDER: Trump attorney Tim Parlatore tells CNN He also testified before the grand jury in December, divulging details about additional searches for classified documents keep organized at several Trump properties last year.

PARLATORE: They would rather make this into an adversarial fight and try to make it into a criminal case.

SCHNEIDER: Special Counsel Jack Smith will now be getting an influx of new information both from Evan Corcoran being forced to testify in front of the grand jury on Friday, and from the array of top Trump administration officials who will now have to testify to the grand jury about what they know about what transpired on and around January 6. Now, our team is told that Trump's legal team is expected to appeal

the decision that says that these top officials can't claim executive privilege. Amara and Victor?


BLACKWELL: Jessica, thank you so much. Let's bring in now CNN Legal Analyst and former Federal Prosecutor Jennifer Rodgers. Jen, good morning to you. So you're not surprised by this ruling, why?

JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, this is set by Supreme Court precedent for many years ago, Victor. As long as prosecutors can demonstrate need for a particular witness's testimony in a criminal investigation that will overcome any executive privilege. So it's -- it's not that it's automatic, they still have to demonstrate the need for the testimony and each individual case. That's why this has to be reviewed by a judge and appeals are allowed and so on. But the law is very clear.

BLACKWELL: Need for the testimony within a certain scope because O'Brien and who else, Cuccinelli already spoke with the federal grand jury. They didn't answer all of the questions. So if there is some appeal here, it would be limited to certain questions. Am I getting that right?

RODGERS: That's right. So when they went into the grand jury, they would have refused to answer certain of the questions based on the assertion of executive privilege. So those are the answers that Jack Smith and his team are currently seeking. So it will be a fairly narrow amount of information that will go up on appeal. That's exactly what we're talking about those questions.

BLACKWELL: OK. So Mark Meadows, obviously, the big get here for the special counsel. He of course, was with Trump the most, he was there on January 6, we remember from the Hutchinson testimony during the January 6 congressional hearings, how much she says that Mark Meadows was aware of and involved with, but what we learned from the -- the foreman of the Georgia special grand jury, there's so many investigations was that Mark Meadows wasn't especially helpful or forthcoming in their investigation. So let's say they get Mark Meadows to come in and ask him to answer questions at the end of this process. Is it possible that he can be less than candid and they still at the end of his not get what they want?

RODGERS: Well, he can certainly try to be less than candid. I mean, his challenge is, once you're testifying, you're under oath, you're subject to potential perjury charges. And Jack Smith and his team have collected a lot of information. They've talked to a lot of people. They have all of the fruits of the labors of the January 6 committee, and then their own investigation. So even though there might be some things that Mark Meadows is the only person who knows them, they still will have heard about conversations that Mark Meadows had with Trump from a lot of other people, including Cassidy Hutchinson.

So it's pretty big risk for him to try not to be forthcoming in response to direct questions when your questioners know a lot about this stuff already before you even get there.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, they come asking, knowing the other side of the text messages and they have other -- the other side of many of these conversations that they're asking Meadows about.

We've been trying to figure out how far along or maybe close to the end of the investigation Smith might be by the subpoenas and the questions and who is up in line next. Is that futile or does this now list of people who could be next tell us anything?


RODGERS: Well, I think, you know, as you go along, and you see the witnesses that are really central here, Mark Meadows is definitely one of them. Mike Pence is another one of them. As they get further along to getting that testimony, I think we can assume that they are getting towards the end.

You know, it tends to be you want to start with the people from the outside first, because that's how you build your knowledge. And then when you go to question the people who are more centrally involved, you have more information with which you can question them. So you tend to question the most important witnesses last, so I think we are getting towards the end of the witnesses they're going to talk to.

It doesn't mean, unfortunately, we're very close to a charging decision, Victor, but at least as far as getting people into the grand jury, they're working on that now.

BLACKWELL: All right, last one here. So that's the January 6 investigation by the special counsel. There's also the Mar-a-Lago documents and we know that Evan Corcoran, a Trump attorney, had to answer questions before the grand jury yesterday. He is the person who wrote that at a station that all of the classified documents were out of Mar-a-Lago, had Christina Bobb and other attorneys sign it.

So we know this is bad news for Trump. But what's the legal exposure or liability vulnerability for Evan Corcoran in this questioning?

RODGERS: So if he was just an unwitting dupe, the reporting that we've seen says that Trump lied to Evan Corcoran, that he just was really the facilitator of false statements from the former President going to DOJ, then he won't have exposure. They will want him to be a witness and not a defendant. So they're trying to get him in front of the grand jury.

He apparently testified and did not assert his Fifth Amendment privilege. So there'll be treating him as a witness. He won't have legal exposure. I think it's still professionally embarrassing for him as a lawyer to have been used in this way and had the attorney-client privilege breached but it doesn't appear that he's a subject of the investigation.

BLACKWELL: All right, Jennifer, thank you.

RODGERS: Thanks, Victor. WALKER: All right, still to come, millions of Americans are feeling the effects of drug shortages and it's impacting more than people's health. It poses a national security risk as well.



WALKER: So we've all been aware right of those drug shortages that have happened over the past few years, will CNN has reported on the lack of antibiotics and over the counter pain relievers. And now experts are telling lawmakers that the continued shortages and lack of certain drugs threatens national security.

The Senate Homeland Security Committee held hearings on this issue this week and released a report. It found drug shortages increased nearly 30 percent between 2021 and 2022. The causes haven't changed since the last report in 2019. And those include economic drivers, quality issues over reliance on foreign sources, increased demand and logistical and regulatory challenges.

Now the report also found drug shortages are increasing and they're lasting longer and of course, impacting patient care. The short supply of cancer drugs is affecting tests and treatments that doctors are able to offer to their patients. My next guest testified on Capitol Hill telling senators a situation is, quote, a tragedy that's happening in slow motion.

Dr. Andrew Shuman is an associate professor of Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Michigan Medical School. We really appreciate you joining us, Doctor. Talk to me more about this tragedy happening in slow motion. What have you been seeing and experiencing at least in terms of, you know, what kind of scans I understand that you have been able to offer some patients at the VA but not to others?

DR. ANDREW SHUMAN, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN MEDICAL SCHOOL: Yes, this is really quite a tragedy. And really one that's been lasting for more than a decade at this point. The medications that we've struggled to obtain include everything from IV contrast for radiology scans to (INAUDIBLE) to the medications we use to put patients to sleep for surgery as well as when they're critically ill. And frankly, it has become a situation that makes it incredibly difficult to take care of patients on a daily basis.

WALKER: Yes. So what does that mean for doctors like you? And what kind of difficult decisions are you forced to make then if there's a shortage of, you know -- what is it, contrast to do these radiological scans?

SHUMAN: Yes, that's exactly right. And in certain cases, it's a matter of prioritizing and making decisions that are quite difficult regarding which patients should receive these scans and which ones need to wait. And other times, it's a matter of choosing drugs that may not be as proven or as effective, when we don't have enough of the more proven medications for all of the patients who need them. And at every hospital, there's individuals who are tasked with making these very challenging, and in many cases, tragic decisions for the patients in our care.

WALKER: And tell us how this impacts national security.

SHUMAN: So the complicated issue here is that the medications as well as the ingredients that we produce them from come from many other parts of the world. And in fact, more than 80 percent of the drugs we use in America have a reliance on foreign suppliers. Many of these are in India, many of these are in China, but they're really everywhere.

And the other challenge is that many of these are only made by one or two companies. And when one factory or one company is unable to produce what we need, we are in a severe shortage and that's exactly what happened with the IV contrast material. One factory in Shanghai went down during COVID and half of the U.S. supply was threatened overnight.

WALKER: I mean, how can that be --

SHUMAN: similarly, with the drug that we use --


WALKER: Doctor, sorry, I don't mean to cut you off there, but I mean it really puts the U.S. in such a vulnerable position when you have 80 percent of the manufacturing facilities that produce these pharmaceutical ingredients. They're based out of the U.S., like you said, many in China and India. So how do you fix this problem?

SHUMAN: Yes, it's incredibly complicated. The one thing I will say is I'm optimistic. We had a very productive hearing on Capitol Hill this past week. And there are things that Congress can do and is planning to do to help. So for example, investing in factories and manufacturing on U.S. soil here in America is a huge component of that.

And I do believe that the Senate will be able to move forward with those types of arrangements with private and public partnerships. I also think that the FDA can take some steps to better secure understanding where things are coming from so that companies and hospitals are better prepared to anticipate these shortages. And there are some fairly straightforward laws that can be passed to allow FDA to take better control of this issue.

WALKER: There are currently 295 active drug shortages. This was at the end of 2022 when we saw a record five-year high of drug shortages. It's just that really a head shaker.

Dr. Andrew Shuman, appreciate your perspective. Thank you.

SHUMAN: My pleasure. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: There's a manhunt right now in Philadelphia. Authorities are looking for the suspect who shot at three teenagers in broad daylight. We've got the latest on the search.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) [08:46:00]

BLACKWELL: There's a manhunt happening now in Philadelphia four suspected shooters caught on surveillance camera. Police say they fired at least 60 shots at a group of teenagers. This is happening as you see in the middle of the day. Happened earlier this week.

WALKER: It's a shocking to see the video. Authorities say all three teens ages 13 to 16 are in critical condition. Police are also looking for the driver of that getaway vehicle used in the crime. CNN's Danny Freeman has more.

DANNY FREEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor, Amara, Philadelphia police called the shooting upsetting, concerning and disappointing that's as for men were seen shooting in broad daylight down a residential street earlier this week. Now, take a look this video that we've been playing for you this week.

Philadelphia police actually released the video Thursday morning of this shooting, but it happened on Monday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. as I said in broad daylight. This is in Philly's Carroll Park neighborhood. It's on the western part of the city. And you can clearly see four men firing indiscriminately down the street.

Philadelphia police say that more than 60 shots were fired in this incident and you could see handguns and rifles being used. Now there were three teenagers who were ultimately shot, all were taken to the hospital. Initially, two were in critical condition, one in extremely critical condition.

And now I shouldn't say for context, Philadelphia has actually seen a decrease in both shootings and homicides over the course of this year compared to the same time last year. But the past two years have been record breaking years when it comes to violence in terms of homicides and shootings. So there's still more work to be done. Take a listen to what police had to say, though, about this incident.


CAPTAIN JAMES KEARNEY, PHILADELPHIA POLICE DEPARTMENT: We're using every tool in our toolbox to bring this one in and find some justice for these victims and hold these four, five males now accountable for their actions. We look at every shooting as serious as we do this one. But when you have three teenagers, you know, 16 and under shot, yes, that's -- it's upsetting to be honest with you.


FREEMAN: Now through the week, police have been looking actually for five suspects, those four men seen in that video and a fifth that was a suspected getaway driver will of course bring you more information as we have it. Victor, Amara?

WALKER: Danny Freeman, thank you.

A pair of March Madness upsets. Two underdogs taken out number one seats in the sweet 16. We're going to catch you up on the road to the final four, next.



BLACKWELL: For the first time in March Madness history, all of the number one seats are eliminated before the Elite Eight.

WALKER: What? What's going on? Andy Scholes joining us now with more on last night's shocking upsets.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Yes, it was an awful night for me.


SCHOLES: I'm a Houston grad, so I was just shaking my head all night. I got the March Madness blues, but yes, it happens to a lot of people, though, right, this time of year. That's how the tournament goes.

And Crimson Tide fans, they're also not feeling great this morning. It was five seats, San Diego State pulling off the big upset last night, taking down number one overall seat, Alabama. The Tide were up nine with under 12 minutes to go. Then the Aztecs just turned it on, went on a 12 run. They held Alabama scoreless for more than four minutes.

Alabama star Brandon Miller really struggling this one. Majors three of his 19 shots for nine points. San Diego State would hold on to win, 71-64, pulling off the massive upset.


DARRION TRAMMELL, SAN DIEGO STATE GUARD: We feel like we can beat any team in the country. We work hard and we feel like we have the DNA of a winning team that goes far in March. I mean, we have experience, we have grit. So we feel like, I mean, that's what we're supposed to do.


SCHOLES: All right. Houston, meanwhile, keep the dream of playing a final four at home alive. Answer is no. Miami just crushing those hopes and dreams. An impressive fast and hurricanes dominant in the second half. Nijel Pack, putting on a shooting exhibition, made 7-3. Miami's back in the Elite Eight for the second straight year, winning 89 to 75.


NIJEL PACK, MIAMI GUARD: I just showed that we're one of the best teams in the country. Now we're moving to the Elite Eight. It's the top eight schools in the country right now. We still got a lot of work to do, but it feels great right now.


SCHOLES: A kiss from his coach. And check out, 73-year-old coach Jim Larranaga showing off some dance moves in the locker room afterwards. Yes, that's how you celebrate making it back to the Elite Eight right there.

And it was a big day for Miami. Their women's team has a nine seed, upsetting Villanova in the women's tournament to reach the Elite Eight as well. Miami and Yukon, the only schools with teams remaining in both tournaments.

And with Alabama and Houston out, Texas, a two seed, is now the highest seed left in the tournament. They easily took care of Xavier cruising to an 83 to 71 win. Longhorn is going to face Miami tomorrow for a shot in the final four in their home state.

And the clock finally striking midnight for the final Cinderella left in the tournament. 15 seed Princeton. Creighton just continuing their impressive run, beating the Tigers 86 to 75. This is Coach Doug McDermott in the Bluejays first ever trip to the Elite Eight. They'll play San Diego State tomorrow.

Will we get more madness today? You got nine seeds. Florida Atlantic looking to continue their dream run, but they're going up against Kansas State's Markquis Nowell and Keyontae Johnson, who have been the best one-two punch in this tournament. And we got a heavy weight battle between Gonzaga and Yukon. Both of those games on our sister channel, TBS.


Zags trying to get back to the final four for the third time in seven years. And guys, just to give you an example of how nutty this tournament is, right? You got eight teams left. The Elite Eight, right?

The favorite, the betting favorite right now to win it all is a four seed. A four seed. Yukon is the betting favorite to win it all. That never happens, right? You always have a one seed left at some point in this tournament. This year, a four seed right now is the favorite.

BLACKWELL: You know, I would really like to know the music that matched that coach's dancing. What was he listening to that led to those moves?


BLACKWELL: Yes. Or maybe with those moves --

SCHOLES: I like you.

BLACKWELL: -- the music doesn't matter. Maybe it does. All right.

WALKER: There's (INAUDIBLE) there, I think. Andy --

BLACKWELL: All right.

WALKER: -- good to see you.

BLACKWELL: Thanks, Andy.

WALKER: Thank you.

And a quick programming note, Adam Sandler and his funny friends are coming to CNN. The Kennedy Center presents the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, celebrating Adam Sandler tomorrow night at 8:00 on CNN.

BLACKWELL: All right, join us again in an hour.

WALKER: In the studio.

BLACKWELL: Together.

WALKER: Together. "SMERCONISH" is up next. We'll see you back here at 10:00.