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Biden Signs Executive Order Expanding Access To Child And Elder Care; Study Finds 25 Percent Or More Students In Some Schools Abusing ADHD Meds; GOP Presidential Candidate Vivek Ramaswamy Joins CNN This Morning. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired April 19, 2023 - 07:30   ET





JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In the United States of America we should have no one -- there should be no one that should have to choose between caring for the parents who raised them, the children who depend on them, for the paycheck they rely on to take care of both.


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: President Biden signing an executive action on Tuesday that issues more than 50 directives in an effort to expand access to both childcare and long-term care.

So joining us now is CNN's chief business correspondent Christine Romans. Good morning.


LEMON: In aviators, no doubt, he did it.

ROMANS: That's right.

LEMON: Why is he doing it?

ROMANS: Look, this has been a weak part of the American economy for a very long time and the pandemic really put it into stark focus here, right? I mean -- and this is the federal government -- what the president is doing is saying all of the heads of 50 different agencies -- you scour your grants, you scour your federal programs, and you find ways to drop co-pays, for example, for people who might have childcare through the government. You find ways that if you're giving grants to different industries you make sure that they know that they are required to find ways to provide quality healthcare.

Also supporting family caregivers. This is a big deal in military households where you have veterans -- have one spouse maybe or somebody in the family is taking care of a veteran. They're not paid for that. Finding ways to relieve some of that financial stress there.

And advancing workers' rights -- domestic workers' rights. We've lost a lot of these workers during the pandemic. We have fewer childcare providers now than we did before the pandemic and they're not paid very well. I mean, best-case scenario, you're talking about $18.00 an hour.


So what -- from the consumer point of view, what are we talking about here? We're talking about childcare costs. One kid -- one kid, depending on where you live, $5,300 to $17,000 a year. We're talking up to 20 percent of take-home pay for families -- they're paying for childcare.

And these numbers have gone up faster than almost anything except college tuition. Childcare over the past decade, 26 percent up. Over the past 30 years, 200 percent. And long-term care up 40 percent.

So this is a problem for worker productivity, for the economy -- the overall growth of the economy.

And I talked to the economist Nela Richardson this morning about just how important the childcare piece is to the overall recovery of the labor market and the U.S. economy post-pandemic. Here's what she said.


NELA RICHARDSON, CHIEF ECONOMIST, ADP: We know two things when it comes to the care economy. First, we know that the jobs have not completely recovered from the pandemic. This was a hard-hit industry. There was a lot of people who left this industry during the pandemic. And the second thing we know is that the care economy has gotten more expensive.


ROMANS: So I have a cousin who is a highly-skilled, highly-trained nurse who has dropped out of the labor market over the past few years for two small kids because the daycare in and around -- this is around the D.C. area -- the suburban D.C. area -- the daycare is more expensive than her take-home pay.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Than her salary. Wow.

ROMANS: I mean -- and you just think about that and quality daycare -- how hard it is to find. And that's -- we have a nursing shortage, by the way, right? So there are a lot of pieces here that we still have to figure out to have a truly efficient economy market labor force.

LEMON: Kids aren't cheap at all.

ROMANS: No, I know that firsthand.

LEMON: What's the best piece of financial advice that you would offer?

ROMANS: Well, I mean, I call them my cost centers -- cost center one, two, and three. But cost center three is almost going to go to college and then he's going to be cost center three --


ROMANS: -- so that's the --

HARLOW: I can't believe it. I remember when they were babies.

Christine, thank you very much.

LEMON: Thanks, Christine. Thank you.

HARLOW: Well, this morning, a new survey from the Journal of American Medical Association Open Network finds that at some of the nation's middle and high schools one in four teens -- 25 percent of teens report they have misused or abused ADHD drugs. Doctors are calling it a major wake-up call.

Our chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is here. We're talking about things like Ritalin, et cetera?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's what we're talking about and there is a significant amount of these drugs being abused. I mean, this was a survey so this is what people actually conceded -- they admitted to in these surveys. The numbers are probably even higher.

The challenge is this. These prescription drugs -- these stimulant drugs for ADHD can have very legitimate purposes. About 10 percent of kids at some point have had a diagnosis of ADHD and about 75 percent have been prescribed a medication.

But what they found -- what really struck me about this study was that in those places where these medications are prescribed the most that's where you're seeing the highest rates of abuse as well. Maybe that's no surprise. And if you look at where the medications are coming from they are typically leftover medications. People getting them from the medicine cabinet, asking their peers.

And just as you said, the most common ones are Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, and Vyvanse. Those are the ones that were the most likely to be abused.

What is also interesting is that this is a relatively new phenomenon. People may not realize this but Ritalin was approved in 1955, but Adderall was approved in 1996. And by the way, just to give you some context in your own life, Don Lemon graduated from high school about 12 years before Adderall was even approved; and Poppy, five years after it was approved. So this is -- this is a relatively new phenomenon that we're seeing out there.

HARLOW: Well --

LEMON: Did you have to put my age up for every --

HARLOW: Hey, I'm right there behind you.

GUPTA: It's just a graduation.

LEMON: No, you are 2001.

HARLOW: I mean, whatever.

LEMON: I'm 1984.

HARLOW: But I remember a lot of my friends in high school taking Adderall.

LEMON: Just a year of graduation. Just a year of graduation.

But the question is, though, who is -- when you're looking at the types of this medication or what have you, who is more likely -- do you have an idea who is more likely to abuse these drugs, Sanjay?

GUPTA: It is almost the exact opposite of what we're seeing with illicit drugs. So, much more likely to be abused in suburban areas. And as I mentioned, in areas where the medications are being prescribed a lot because they're just getting them from their friends and their peers.

What was interesting as well is if you -- if your parents are college- educated, or one or both of your parents are college-educated, those school districts tended to have the highest rates of abuse as well. That's what they're seeing.

HARLOW: What about long-term impact of abuse of these drugs?

GUPTA: Well, you know, I mean part of the reason I put that timeline up is because I just want to be fair here -- what is the long-term here? Some of these drugs, like Adderall, was only -- you know, it's only been around for 25 years. We don't have super-long-term data on this yet.


HARLOW: Right.

GUPTA: But there are some concerns to be fair. When you look at this overall, the idea that typically people will take these medications and combine them with other medications, and that can lead to a stimulant use disorder where you need increasingly escalating doses of this.

But the things that you might expect -- anxiety and depression can be associated with this. But also, tangible effects on the heart. Irregular heartbeat, for example.

Keep in mind -- I mean, these are stimulants. So in people who have ADHD it can have a calming effect. It raises norepinephrine and dopamine levels. In people who don't have ADHD it can have a much more negative effect. Long-term, to be fair, we still don't know. But in the short term there's real concerns.

HARLOW: Yes. I'm glad you raised this.

LEMON: Yes. Very interesting study.

Sanjay, what are you, 84, 85, 86?

HARLOW: No way.

GUPTA: I wasn't part of the timeline, guys, so you can (INAUDIBLE).

HARLOW: Thank you.

LEMON: I was three years old when I graduated high school.

HARLOW: I'm glad you also didn't compare the degrees we have compared to Sanjay.

LEMON: Thank you, Doctor.

HARLOW: Thank you.

LEMON: Good to see you.

GUPTA: You got it. Thank you.

HARLOW: This morning, Netflix is ending a service you probably didn't know still existed. Why DVDs -- remember those -- are no longer going to be mailed out. No more red envelopes.

LEMON: Yes. And aviation officials are warning of a, quote, "tsunami of pilot retirements." How this could impact the already struggling industry.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sexy as a tortoise. That's Netflix, a company that rents movies on DVDs. While Cosmos had squads of bicycle messengers and Web Band had a fleet of shiny trucks, Netflix found a simple, low- cost formula -- free trials and unlimited rentals delivered by plain old U.S. mail.


HARLOW: I remember when that was such a cool new thing. That's a CNN report from more than 20 years ago when you could order Netflix DVDs online and get them right in your mailbox. After 25 years, the company is ending that DVD direct rental service, saying goodbye to the red envelopes on September 29.

Netflix reporting a miss for its second-quarter earnings after the market closed yesterday. Shares fell by six percent. Don't discount Netflix is what I would say.

LEMON: Oh my gosh, 20 years ago.

A CNN THIS MORNING exclusive. A first look at the new HBO feature film "Reality." The film is based on a former NSA contractor named Reality Winner who was sentenced to five years behind bars for leaking classified documents to the media -- documents on Russian interference in the 2015 election.

Here's a first look at Reality.


Clip from HBO's "Reality."


HARLOW: You guys, you should pull --

LEMON: So, "Reality" is set to air on HBO -- "Reality" is set to air on HBO on May 29 at 10:00 p.m. and will be available for streaming on Max. We should note HBO is owned by CNN's parent company Warner Bros. Discovery.

HARLOW: I can't wait to see it. A first peek that anyone has gotten of the film. It's so timely.

LEMON: Well, can I just say something about the name Reality Winner?

HARLOW: Yes, what a name.

LEMON: What a name. What a name. Make sure you tune into that.


So we'll have more perspective on this settlement between Fox News and Dominion Voting Systems. Coming up, we're going to be hearing from Dominion's lead lawyer. And a -- also ahead, a frequent guest on Fox, Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy. He joins us at the table next.




JUSTIN NELSON, ATTORNEY FOR DOMINION VOTING SYSTEMS: The truth matters. Lies have consequences. Today's settlement of $787,500,000 represents vindication and accountability.


LEMON: Yes, that was Justin Nelson. By the way, he's going to be on with us a little bit later on in the 8:00 hour. He's the lead counsel for Dominion Voting Systems.

It was after a last-minute $787 million -- .5 million dollar settlement that was reached with Fox News. This is the largest publicly known defamation settlement in U.S. history involving a media company. The deal was announced hours after the jury was sworn in.

Fox put out a statement admitting to lying about Dominion rigging the 2020 president election, writing -- well, sort of -- "We acknowledge the court's ruling finding certain claims about Dominion to be false." I'm not exactly sure if that means lying but they are saying -- that's what they -- that's what they are acknowledging, I should say.

So joining us now, a frequent guest on Fox News, Republican presidential candidate and tech entrepreneur, Vivek Ramaswamy. So, we are happy to have you on. We want to talk to you more than just about Fox News, but good morning to you.


LEMON: Thank you for joining us.

RAMASWAMY: Glad to be here.


LEMON: What do you make of this decision to settle this case?

RAMASWAMY: I mean, it strikes me as the cost of doing business if you're going to be a news network. I think it's happened to CNN and I think it's happened to a lot of news networks. It's the cost of doing business.

HARLOW: That has not happened at CNN.

LEMON: It has not happened to CNN. This is the largest --

RAMASWAMY: Never been sued for defamation? Never been -- never been actually settled?

LEMON: This is the largest in history.

RAMASWAMY: It's definitely large and Fox appears to have the largest viewership in the market capitalization. So I'm not familiar with the details of this case. I'm actually more interested in issues relating to this country than disputes with media companies. But I will say that it strikes me that from CNN to Fox News.

LEMON: You're not familiar honest -- you're not familiar with the case? You're not familiar with the lies about the 2020 election? About the election being stolen? That Dominion was somehow fixing the votes? I mean, that's why they -- $787.5 million. You're not familiar with that and you're running for president?

RAMASWAMY: The details of a private dispute between -- a commercial dispute and the details of what the dollar figures are -- that's not where I spend --

LEMON: It's not private, it's public. It's not private, it's public.

RAMASWAMY: That's really not where I spend my time. But what I will say is look, there's defamation cases, people settle businesses -- settle business disputes. Fox settled this one. It's actually not, I think, the pressing issue for the nation of what Fox News' settlement is with a -- with a --

LEMON: Well, I disagree with that because as you just admitted, you said Fox has the largest --


LEMON: -- viewership -- one of the largest viewership among television networks, and especially cable networks. Considering the eyes -- the American people who are tuning into Fox News to get their information and to get it accurately, I'm surprised that you would say that you're not concerned about this and this is not a -- something that is hugely pressing for the American people.

RAMASWAMY: Here's the way I look at it.

LEMON: Freedom of the press is the First Amendment in the Constitution.

RAMASWAMY: Oh, exactly -- you nailed it -- the freedom of the press. So we have CNN, we have Fox. I'm here with you guys. I go on Fox News. I think that's great that we have a marketplace of ideas in this country.

What I worry more about, Don, is the trend that we see in this country to controlling what different parties are actually able to say. The American way to bad speech is more speech. And so I think we need to actually embrace that culture in a more diverse marketplace of ideas.



RAMASWAMY: That's something that we haven't done well enough in this country.

LEMON: In all honesty, you're not answering the question. You're giving us platitudes about --

RAMASWAMY: I'm actually unsure what your question is, Don. Do you want somebody to bash Fox News on CNN? If that's your favor (PH), then I'd be happy to do that. Actually, I wouldn't.

LEMON: No, I'm not asking you to bash Fox -- I'm not asking you to bash Fox News. I'm asking you --


LEMON: -- to be honest -- RAMASWAMY: Yes.

LEMON: -- about what happened on Fox News about the lies that were told and them having to admit the lies, and paying the largest defamation settlement to a media company in history. And you are a frequent guest on that network. Are you concerned about the credibility? Are you going to continue to go on that network even with those credibility issues?

RAMASWAMY: I have far more concerns with the credibility of what we will call the mainstream media than I do with the credibility of Fox News. But --

LEMON: Fox is the mainstream media.

RAMASWAMY: -- at the end of the day, what I say is look, neither you nor I know the details because they settled it before it went to trial. I think the obsession -- I think the obsession over this is a little weird.

LEMON: Do you know the -- Vivek, Vivek, listen.

RAMASWAMY: It's a little bizarre.

LEMON: I don't want to get into that --

RAMASWAMY: There's real issues to talk about in the country. Why are we talking about Fox News and the settlement?

LEMON: This is a very big and important story and I'm not going to -- we have much more that we wanted to talk to you --

RAMASWAMY: I think we should.

LEMON: -- about, but we will get there when we're ready to get there. We have you on to talk about these issues. This is a very important issue and it should not be downplayed. This has to do with American democracy and Americans learning the truth about what happened in the 2020 election. You don't think that's important?

RAMASWAMY: You want to know what -- yes. I hear this -- I hear a lot about --

LEMON: You're comparing it to CNN is not -- it's apples and oranges. It's not the same thing.

RAMASWAMY: Well, it's different networks, yes. Apples aren't the same as oranges. You get one view through CNN; you get a different through Fox News.

I think it's good in our marketplace of ideas is that we have media that offers diverse perspectives. And you want to talk about threats to our democracy, one of the threats -- and that phrase is an interesting one -- threats to our democracy.

I think one of the biggest ones is the chilling effect on speech in our country more broadly, where if somebody says something that a broad segment of the population or certain people in the government disagree with there is an increasing trend in our country to silence that. And the answer to bad speech and alleged misinformation is not less speech. It is more speech in the marketplace of ideas. That's actually what a free press really means.

LEMON: OK, so let's -- all right, we're going to move on. But your answer was good but it's not about what's actually happened. It's not relevant to what's happening.

I think the answer to what happened at Fox News is to tell the truth. Media companies are tasked with telling the truth. That did not happen in this situation and that's why we're asking you these questions. But let's move on.

RAMASWAMY: Let's talk more about a diverse --

LEMON: Go on.

RAMASWAMY: -- exchange of ideas. That's what I'm in for. Thank you.

HARLOW: We're glad you're here this morning. Your campaign slogan is a new American Dream. And I was reading through your platform last night.

I wonder what you would do specifically to actually bring us together -- not just Republicans and Democrats? What does unity look like to you, Vivek, for rich and poor, for rural and urban, for Republicans and Democrats?

RAMASWAMY: That is the right question to be asking. And I think the main divide in this country -- and I say this to conservative audiences equally -- is not between Republicans and Democrats. It is between those of us who are pro-American embracing the ideals that set this country into motion. And I think an increasing strain in this country that is anti-American that wishes to apologize for a nation founded on those ideals. But that's not a 50-50 split. I think most people are in the pro-American camp.

And Poppy, I think one of the ways they would say we get to national unity some people think is by showing up in the middle and compromising. I respect that view but I reject it.

HARLOW: You reject compromise?

RAMASWAMY: I reject compromising on our principles. I think the right way to get to national unity -- and I mean this -- to unite this country is by embracing, actually, the radicalism of the American ideals themselves.

We celebrate our diversity and differences. I'm glad we have some three different shades of melanin on this set right now and two different genders. That's fine, but what I say is so what? That diversity is meaningless unless there's something greater that binds us together -- that unites us across that diversity. And I'm running for president to revive those ideals that bind us together across our diverse attributes.

HARLOW: I want to get into a few issues, one of them being China. Before I get to China --


HARLOW: -- I just want to better understand something you said this week speaking before the audience at the NRA. Here's what you said referring to back to 1865. Here it was.


RAMASWAMY: I want you to raise your hand if you know when the first anti-gun laws were passed in this country. Raise your hand if you do. Eighteen sixty-five. You want to know when it happened? We fought a Civil War in this country to give Black Americans the equal protection under the law that we failed to secure them in 1776.

But then you want to know what happened? Southern states passed anti- gun laws that stopped Black people from owning guns. The Democrat Party then, as in now, wanted to put them back in chains.


HARLOW: "Then as in now." That's quite an accusation about the current Democratic Party. Who and what were you referring to?

RAMASWAMY: I was referring to Joe Biden and his expression of wanting to put them back in chains, dating back to Lyndon Johnson. I think Lyndon Johnson's so-called.