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Researchers Study If Ozempic Can Curb Addictions; JPMorgan CEO Denies Meeting Or Talking To Jeffrey Epstein; Amazon To Pay $30 Million-Plus To Settle FTC Privacy Complaints. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired June 01, 2023 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: "Poison in every puff." Labels like that will soon be printed on every single cigarette in Canada. It's the first country in the world to mandate health warnings directly on individual cigarettes. You see them on the boxes now here, but these are individual cigarettes. In addition to the new graphic warnings on the outside of packages and on displays, it's part of new tobacco regulations designed to remind people about the dangers of smoking.
Messages like "Cigarettes cause impotence" will be required in English and French in Canada by the end of April 2025.
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Researchers are studying whether Ozempic and other drugs like it could help curb addictions. So the use of Ozempic has soared over the last year. It's a prescription medication which, of course, was aimed initially at treating type 2 diabetes but many people say they take it instead to lose weight. And now, doctors report they're finding some other intended side effects of the positive variety.
HILL: CNN's Meg Tirrell is here. So, some patients now telling their doctors that they no longer want to smoke. They don't feel like drinking anymore. Was this a surprise?
MEG TIRRELL, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. You know, it's really fascinating to hear from patients and doctors the experience of taking these medicines. The same way they sort of just talk about losing interest in food, some people describe losing interest in alcohol or vaping. So scientists are actually researching whether this is a true effect and running clinical trials.
We dug into what might be going on. Check it out.
TIRRELL (voice-over): These days, Cheri Ferguson has swapped her vape pen for an Ozempic pen. CHERI FERGUSON, OZEMPIC PATIENT: I thought I'm not enjoying vaping so I may as well just put this into the battery bin at work and I'll see how long I can go without it, and that was 54 days ago.
TIRRELL (voice-over): Ferguson started using Ozempic 11 weeks ago to combat weight gain during the pandemic that she says was increasing her risk of diabetes. A smoker for much of her life, Ferguson switched to vaping last July. But after starting Ozempic, she says something changed.
FERGUSON: It's like someone's just come along and switched a light on, and you can see the room for what it is. And all of the vapes and cigarettes that you've had over the years -- it just -- they don't look attractive anymore. It's very, very strange -- very strange.
TIRRELL (voice-over): Ferguson is one of many patients taking drugs like Ozempic for weight loss who say they've also lost interest in some addictive behaviors.
Doctors told CNN that patients most commonly report an effect on alcohol use. It may be because these drugs in a class known as GLP-1s have an effect not just in the gut but also in the brain. It's something being studied at the National Institutes of Health where researchers just published a paper showing semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic, reduced what they called binge-like alcohol drinking in rodents.
DR. LORENZO LEGGIO, RESEARCHER, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: We believe that at least one of the mechanisms is how this drug reduces alcohol drinking is by reducing the rewarding effects of alcohol, such as those related to transmitters in our brain which is dopamine. So these medications are likely to make alcohol less rewarding.
TIRRELL (voice-over): And it's not just alcohol and nicotine. Patients have even told The Atlantic it had effects on behaviors like nail-biting and online shopping.
LEGGIO: There is a lot of overlap on the (INAUDIBLE) mechanism that regulate addictive behaviors in general. So it's possible that medications like semaglutide, by acting on these specific mechanisms in the brain -- they may help people with a variety of addictive behaviors.
TIRRELL (voice-over): Clinical trials in humans are needed to prove that. One set is underway at the University of North Carolina, looking at semaglutide's effect on alcohol and tobacco use.
Cheri Ferguson says Ozempic has helped her lose 38 pounds. Even better, she says, is how it's made her feel.
FERGUSON: The weight that it takes off your mind is far greater than any pounds that come off your body.
(END VIDEOTAPE) TIRRELL: Now, we reached out to Novo Nordisk, which is the maker of Ozempic and Wegovy, its sister drug, and also Eli Lily, which makes a similar medicine. These companies are not currently testing these drugs in any sort of addiction indications. This traditionally really hasn't been a good market for the pharmaceutical industry even though researchers tell us there is a huge need for better medicines.
HARLOW: What do you mean a good market? A money-making market?
TIRRELL: Yes, a money-making market. The drugs that have been launched in alcohol use disorder, for example --
TIRRELL: -- have not been successful.
HARLOW: I just think this could save so many lives -- alcoholics -- right?
TIRRELL: Yes, absolutely.
TIRRELL: I mean, there's 30 million people in the country who have alcohol use disorder, according to the NIH, and only about five percent get treatment with medication right now.
HILL: Wow, interesting. But, yes, I guess it's about the money sometimes. Maybe that will change.
Meg, such a great report. Thank you -- appreciate it.
TIRRELL: Thank you.
HARLOW: Another story we're watching this morning. Amazon paying out millions of dollars over allegations that it stored Alexa voice recordings and that some employees were given unrestricted access to Ring camera footage. What you should know about your smart devices ahead.
HARLOW: Welcome back to CNN THIS MORNING.
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon denying under oath that he ever met or talked to Jeffrey Epstein or that he discussed any of his bank accounts. That is according to a transcript that was released yesterday from Dimon's deposition on Friday. In it, it's in connection to a lawsuit brought against the bank by victims of Epstein and the U.S. Virgin Islands. They are alleging that the company knew about the sex trafficking allegations against Epstein but still continued to do business with him.
I asked Dimon about this in an interview we did in the beginning of April. This was weeks before his deposition. And according to the transcript of the deposition, lawyers for the plaintiffs played portions of that interview when they questioned Dimon. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: I want to ask you about something that is in the news. That JPMorgan is in the news about a former client of yours, and that is Jeffrey Epstein. JPMorgan is being sued now by the U.S. Virgin Islands. They are alleging that your bank helped facilitate payments to Epstein's victims and benefited from human trafficking while ignoring warnings.
Do those allegations have merit?
JAMIE DIMON, CEO, JPMORGAN CHASE: Well, I cannot talk about current litigation except to say that whenever these things come up, we have some of the best lawyers in the world -- compliance out of the DOJ, out of SEC, important divisions -- who review all of these things and make decisions at the time based on what they know, as best as they know.
HARLOW: You're going to be deposed, we've learned now, in this case in the spring. In retrospect, Jamie, do you think JPMorgan should have acted more quickly after Epstein pleaded guilty to one of these charges in 2008 -- because he was your client for five more years.
DIMON: Hindsight is a fabulous gift.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: Well, the lawyers then asked Dimon what information he did have about Epstein and JPMorgan's handling of his accounts to which Dimon replied, "I knew very little about any of this until this case was opened. And then, of course, I learned quite a bit since then.
According to the lawsuits, Epstein was a JPMorgan client from 1998 until 2013. Epstein was indicted on a prostitution charge in 2006 and pleaded guilty in 2008 but spent very little time in jail. And then in 2019, the Epstein scandal broke. He was arrested on federal sex trafficking charges. He died by suicide while detained.
Dimon says he only heard of Epstein after that 2019 news broke.
Joining us is Khadeeja Safdar. She is The Wall Street Journal reporter who has been covering this story from the very beginning. Really important reporting, including yesterday, you reported that a former JPMorgan Chase executive Jes Staley had said that he did actually communicate with Dimon. He talked to him about the bank's business with Epstein. That they had these conversations, which appears to be a direct -- a direct conflict with what we heard from Jamie Dimon in that deposition.
Khadeeja, I don't know if you --
KHADEEJA SAFDAR, REPORTER, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Yes, I did report that. The bank -- yes, I can hear you. The bank said the statements were false. And keep in mind that the bank has sued Staley and sought to pin the relationship on him. But Staley did say in legal documents that he -- Dimon communicated with him from 2006 through 2012, and also about his arrest in 2006, and then the guilty plea in 2008.
HARLOW: What did you -- this is a 415-page deposition -- some of it redacted but a lot of it not redacted here. And it brings up other high-ranking executives at JPMorgan.
What was your big takeaway from reading this?
SAFDAR: I think what I took away was that Jamie Dimon was essentially saying is that it was other executives' responsibility to review and terminate this relationship.
He particularly calls out Stephen Cutler, who was the bank's general counsel at the time. And he said that if he had wanted to override others and terminate the relationship that he could have done that. He did say that he respects Cutler and that he thought he was trying to do the right thing.
He also calls out other executives as well for being able to have that ability to terminate the relationship.
HARLOW: To your point about Cutler -- because that's what was striking to me about your reporting in the paper this morning. Because lawyers point -- in this deposition, asked Jamie Dimon about an email from 2011, which Cutler, who is a top lawyer at the bank whose office used to be right next to Jamie Dimon's -- 2011, while he working at the bank, this lawyer writes to others at the bank about Epstein, quote, "This is not an honorable person in any way. He should not be a client."
Showing knowledge of issues there. But -- and the arrest that was made in 2008. But they kept him as a client until 2013.
Is the big question now did Jamie Dimon know any of that? And he's saying under oath he did not.
SAFDAR: Yes, he contends that he did not. But that is bewildering that he wrote that email essentially saying that this person shouldn't be a client in 2011. He was asked about it. I mean, Jamie Dimon was asked about it and he did say at that time that Cutler could have overrode others at that time and decided ultimately to terminate the relationship. And I think he's just essentially putting the responsibility and onus on him.
HILL: Yes. It's interesting because those records in the deposition showing that the legal team repeatedly were evaluating the legal status but, yet, approved these accounts year after year.
Khadeeja, thank you.
All of this happening, as well, as there's some more Jamie Dimon news.
HARLOW: There is. I would -- I would just note so people know the timeline here that in 2008, Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to soliciting and procuring of a minor for prostitution. That's really key here. He served some prison time. And then was kept on as a client until 2013 -- which, by the way, Dimon is now saying this should never have happened, right? So there's a lot more to follow here.
But there is other news, right? As this is happening, the news of Jamie Dimon's deposition broke just as some major Wall Street players began publicly encouraging him to run for President of the United States.
Our chief business correspondent and anchor for "EARLY START" Christine Romans is here with all of that. Really interesting -- Bill Ackman.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT, ANCHOR, "EARLY START": It really is. So he is also a legendary investor and he's out there saying that he thinks that Jamie Dimon should run for president.
This is what he said yesterday in a long tweetstorm. He said, "We need an exemplary business, financial, and global leader to manage through what is likely to be a critically important decade for our country in determining our destiny. Jamie Dimon is that leader. There is only one better job for Jamie than CEO of JPMorgan and that's POTUS. He can beat Biden in the primary and he can beat Donald Trump in the general election. He needs to start now, build name recognition, and raise -- and raise billions of dollars."
It's sort of a remarkable endorsement of someone who has been known recently as the president of Wall Street -- because when there's a problem he comes in. When there's a question, presidents and prime ministers have Jamie Dimon on speed dial. He is really the only banker of that kind of stature that I can think of in modern history.
And he's been asked many times. He was asked by Bloomberg would you ever -- you know, in an interview from China this week, would you ever consider running for public office or for accepting a cabinet position? And this is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DIMON: I love my country and maybe one day I'll serve my country in one capacity or another.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: But he loves his current job, by the way, and shareholders love him in his current job.
He's been -- we all ask him this question a lot because people wonder if there is a political future in Washington for Jamie Dimon.
So that is sort of the second part of the story I think, this week, that has Jamie Dimon a household name here. HARLOW: I think it's interesting because he's not really an
ideologue. He's talked about sort of his brain being more Republican --
HARLOW: -- and his heart being more a Democrat.
ROMANS: Democratic. He says he's barely a Democrat --
HARLOW: So if he ran, what he would run as?
ROMANS: -- and his brain is more Republican. And he has said before he -- and one of the reasons why Bill Ackman and others really endorse him for higher office is because he gets how this country is run and he knows that we have big, hard problems that need to be solved, like the $32 trillion --
ROMANS: -- national debt.
And he has always said -- he has told me several times you fix the roof when the sun is shining. So when it's good times that's when you make the hard decisions, and that's something that doesn't happen in Washington.
HARLOW: He's also a real student of history, as you know --
HARLOW: -- having interviewed him so many times.
HARLOW: And he applies that as he thinks about -- he's in China right now, for example, talking about big issues.
ROMANS: But would America elect a banker for higher office?
HILL: Good question.
ROMANS: That's a good question.
HARLOW: Christine, thank you very much.
HILL: This just in to CNN. Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin says the ongoing lack of communication with China could lead to an incident that could spiral out of control. That statement coming while he's in Japan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LLOYD AUSTIN, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: You've heard me talk a number of times about the importance of countries with large -- with significant capabilities being able to talk to each other so you can -- you can manage crises and prevent things from spiraling out of control unnecessarily.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: CNN's Natasha Bertrand is joining us now live from the Pentagon. So the Pentagon says that China, remember, refused -- we talked about this this week -- refused a proposal to meet with Austin at the Shangri-La Dialogue security conference. These latest comments from Austin are pretty remarkable, especially in light of that.
NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Yes, and they come just days after, of course, a Chinese fighter jet intercepted a U.S. reconnaissance plane over the South China Sea in a way that U.S. officials say was very aggressive and dangerous. Here, we're showing the video of it. It got so close to that U.S. aircraft that the aircraft could actually feel the turbulence from the wake of that fighter jet. And we should note that aircraft was manned.
And so Austin, here, is really reiterating the need for China and the U.S. to have these military-to-military communication channels open so that if something like this happens, for example, and there was a collision, there needs to be some channel open so that the two countries can avoid a miscommunication that could then spiral out of control.
As of right now, China has continued to refuse to reopen those military-to-military channels even though the Defense Department has been pressing them for months and months to reopen those lines of communication -- Erica.
HILL: Natasha, we will take it.
HILL: Appreciate it. Thank you.
"THAT '70S SHOW" actor Danny Masterson found guilty of raping two women after a jury deliberated for six days. The punishment he is now facing. That's just ahead.
HARLOW: Do you have a Ring camera? Do you use Alexa? I don't, but a lot of you guys do, right? That's what you thought was private, right -- you did -- maybe not.
Amazon now has agreed to pay more than $30 million settling a pair of federal lawsuits over privacy violations tied to these devices. When it comes to Alexa, the FTC says the company deceived parents by holding on to data on kids' voices and location for years.
HILL: And when it comes to the Ring camera, the government says Amazon used to give every employee full access to all customer video, and says that at least one employee use that access to look at pretty girls while another watched a fellow employee's stored video recordings without her permission.
In response, Amazon says, "While we disagree with the FTC's claims regarding both Alexa and Ring and deny violating the law, these settlements put these matters behind us."
Joining us now is Lance Ulanoff. He's the U.S. editor-in-chief of TechRadar. Maybe it puts the issue behind Amazon. I don't know that it does for the millions of people who use both of these --
LANCE ULANOFF, U.S. EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, TECHRADAR: Right.
HILL: -- devices.
A two-part question to start you off. How surprising that they had all this data, to you? And also, how concerning?
ULANOFF: Not surprising because it's how these systems work. That they use this data to train systems to understand, get your utterances right, even train on your own voice so they know it's you -- you know, Poppy versus Erica -- so it knows the difference. So I'm not surprised. And it is worrisome that it happened.
I talk to Amazon a lot. I just spoke to them probably a month ago. And I know that the difference between 2018 and now is quite a bit. They've been learning a lot.
I think every single tech company was incredibly sloppy with data as they were learning about what it was going to be like to put these smart devices in our homes. They did a terrible job. They also did a terrible job of communicating what they were doing with the data, what they would not be doing with the data, and how do you control it -- because that's the thing.
So many people don't realize you can go into your Alexa app right now and see every utterance -- every recording that has been on there. Like if you said that yes, go ahead and tape because most people don't even check, it's all there. Every time I asked for the weather, it's all there.
HILL: Can you delete it?
ULANOFF: Yes, every single one. You can delete all of them by yourself. You can ask Amazon to delete your entire account. We know that Amazon is about to delete any child's record that is older and untouched for 18 months. So that's all about to go away -- all of that stuff -- including anything that they use to train current systems.
HARLOW: How do people delete it?
ULANOFF: So, go into the app. You can look at it. It's under settings. It's under activity and you'll see record. And you'll actually see the words and you can also hear the recording. You can just delete them. And one of the things that's interesting is that parents -- this is one of the ways parents discovered that the kids were engaging with Alexa, asking silly questions, buying things. You know, that's where Amazon really had to up its game and say oh, the kids are engaging with this device and using it and parents are not ahead of it, so we have to get ahead of it.
HILL: What is, at this point -- the companies didn't quite understand it. Consumers likely didn't quite understand it in terms of our information and how it's being used --
HILL: -- and how it's being stored.
What is a realistic expectation of privacy from a consumer who has Alexa, who has Ring, or something similar?
ULANOFF: It's full transparency. We have to have -- you know, we don't really have a data bill of rights per se. We need to have complete transparency from these tech companies upfront.
Now, when you install them now you do get a lot of information about what you will share, what you don't want to share, opting in, opting out. And people tend to install these devices and these apps very quickly and don't pay attention.
So -- but again, it still falls on Amazon to do the hard work because you cannot expect consumers who are not technologists to dig into this. Make it as simple as talking to the device and say delete all my utterances for the last two weeks.
HARLOW: One thing that I find really striking is that Amazon has said and just recently reiterated as recently as January.