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CNN Tonight

Alex Murdaugh Sentenced to Life in Prison; Biden's About-Face on the D.C. Crime Law Angers Democrats; Survey Shows Most East Palestine Residents Reported Health Symptoms; World's First Three-Year Cruise Announced. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired March 03, 2023 - 22:00   ET




ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Good evening, everyone. I'm Alisyn Camerota. Welcome to CNN Tonight.

Alex Murdaugh will spend the rest of his life behind bars for the murders of his own wife and son. The judge who sentenced him today knew Murdaugh professionally and personally before all of this and called him a monster.

Tonight, some legal observers say that those three hours of jury deliberations were too fast for a six-week trial. We'll debate that.

Plus, you what will the future be like for the people of Palestine, Ohio, who been exposed to toxic chemicals from that train derailment. Tonight, a woman who grew up in the middle of a different environmental disaster has a message for the people of East Palestine. What she says they need to do starting now.

And here's a question for you, how would you like to travel the world for a year, all seven continents, and see all of the historic sites like the Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu, the Great Wall of China, all your food and lodging is including, even some booze, for the bargain price of $30,000. But there is a catch, and we'll tell you all about it and see if our panelists are game to try it.

All right, we've got a lot to talk about tonight. So, let's bring in our guests, we have expert Criminal Attorney Donte Mills, also Patrick McEnroe, an expert on a different kind of court, Grio badass Natasha Alford and Republican Jersey Shore-lover Doug Heye. Great to have all of you guys here with me tonight.

Okay. So, Donte, I want to start with you about the trial. It was very interesting today to hear the judge talk about how long he has personally known Alex Murdaugh. So, I just want to play that for everybody because he talks about, you know, what his impression was then and then what is to come. So, listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JUDGE CLIFTON NEWMAN, SOUTH CAROLINA CIRCUIT COURT: You've practiced law before me and we've seen each other at various occasions throughout the years. And it was especially heartbreaking for me to see you gone -- go in the media from being a grieving father who lost a wife and a son, to being the person indicted and convicted of killing them.


CAMEROTA: Donte, I would have thought that if you knew -- if the judge knew someone that well, that he would have had to have recused himself or something. I mean, is this just the occupational hazard of being in a small town that judges and defendants often know each other? That just took me by surprise really how many years they had known each other.

DONTE MILLS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It's a combination of a small town but also a big name. You have to remember that Murdaugh family was a huge name in that community, helped a lot of people, in fact, they had to take his grandfather's picture off the wall at the courthouse. That's how big they are.

So, for this judge to see him in this light after believing and beauty of their family, and as he said, you have to be a monster to kill your wife and child. And when it's somebody that you know that you believe is a good person and it turns out that they're not, that's heart- wrenching.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely. But there's no problem with the judge knowing a defendant that well?

MILLS: No. And you have to -- especially in those small towns, you have to trust in the judges, in the attorneys that they'll be professional and will remove themselves -- their personal opinion from the situation and say, I may know him but I have to follow the law whether it benefits him or not.

DOUG HEYE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: We also hear so often that trials are being moved to other places because they can't be judged fairly. Why did this not happen here? Like I didn't watch one minute of this trial, to be honest. The last trial I watched --

CAMEROTA: I like your full disclosure.

HEYE: The last trial I watched was a certain running back that we all remember.

CAMEROTA: That's truly the last trial you watched? That one got you off of trials forever?

HEYE: Well, we focus on these specific things and sometimes forget about the larger things. But I'm curious why when so often here I can't be judged fairly here, that in this case that happened.

MILLS: Well, I'll tell you why. Because the defense in this case knew or believed that he would get a benefit from being tried there because those were his people.


His family helped so many people in that community, they thought it would be a plus.

PATRICK MCENROE, FORMER PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: It only -- what I heard today, Donte and Alisyn, from the judge, number one, and then from the lead prosecutor, his interview with Anderson earlier tonight, just reaffirmed to me what I heard throughout the trial and what I was sensing just as a layman watching, not as an expert, that this guy thought that he was going to be able to get away with this because of what you talked about, because of the fact that he had so much influence and so much history and, of course, as we learned throughout this case, could manipulate people better than anyone. Well, he couldn't do it when it came right down to it.

And to me, you know, we often -- while we complaint there'll something they deliver it for days and days and weeks, it goes on forever, this time, they didn't need to. I don't think we need to complain about that.


CAMEROTA: Well, three hours.

ALFORD: Internally, they said it was 45 minutes.


MCENROE: Maybe an hour, he says, maybe an hour.

ALFORD: Exactly. Craig Moyer came out and said that. Within about 45 minutes, they had consensus but, of course, they went through the process of deliberating and talking about all of the evidence. And as you said, it was Murdaugh's own testimony that turned them off. There was a sense he was being disingenuous. They didn't see the emotion that they expected and that also he just was too smart for his own good. Having an instant defense when the police were on the scene and that being the body camera footage, that all backfired.

So, juries are about democracy. This is the frontlines of democracy in America, making sure that everyday people have a right to be a part of this process. And those jurors saw what they saw and they reached a consensus.

CAMEROTA: But what about the notion -- there's an op-ed in The New York Times today by Farhad Manjoo, who says that three hours -- or 45 minutes is not long enough for all of the data that they had to go through. In other words -- well, let me ask you this. Let me just give you his point first. He says, our devices now capture everything about what everyone is doing. But making sense of that data is not trivial. In the Murdaugh case, both sides pointed to the digital record. But by the end of the trial, I felt like I had no idea what actually happened. The jury was hardly so cautious. Donte, his point was that we've all had the experience where our cell phone tells us that we are driving, when, in fact, we're a passenger or we're walking. And that they hung a lot of their case on the cell phones -- the cell phone data that he is suggesting may not be as trustworthy as we think.

MILLS: Well, I try and I handle cases all over the country, and I know this for a fact. Jurors are smart people. They're the people in our community. That's why we have jurors in this country. We want people to come together to use common sense and tell us what's right or wrong.

So, although it was a six-week trial where they went through a lot of painstaking evidence, the jury could have latched on to one thing that made the difference for them and said, I don't care what anybody else says, I don't care what six weeks' worth of testimony, we're not going to go through all of that because we already used this fact to decide that he did it. And whether it was the kennel video, where they heard his voice at the scene of the murder minutes before, and said no matter what the other cell phone data says or means, this has convinced me.

So, the jury is smart enough to piece all of that out and say, we don't have to sit here for days and talk about things that don't make a difference. We've already made our mind up.

MCENROE: Yes. The cell phone video was obviously crucial when you talking about the testimony that was heard in the courtroom. And then as you heard from one of the jurors today in his interview, the interviewer said, well, you saw him crying, he goes, no, no, he wasn't crying. Those were not tears. And she said, how did you know this? He says I was this close to him. I could he see it, it was made up. So, they saw right through him. As you said early, it was just they knew that he was a conman.

CAMEROTA: So, the lead prosecutor was on the Anderson show tonight and talked about what he thought the jury was responding to. So, here's that moment.


CREIGHTON WATERS, LEAD PROSECUTOR, MURDAUGH TRIAL: I think a lot of times as a lawyer, you get to look in the juror's eyes and it's always a read and they can obviously speak for themselves if they decide to speak. But I just think that they saw him lying in action and saw how easily he could do it. And it's hard to get by the fact of lying about being at murder scene with the victims just minutes before they died.


CAMEROTA: That one is hard to explain. He never really was able to explain that.

ALFORD: Yes. And interesting you have to bring up the point about phones. We -- I've said this before, we exchange, we give up so much when we accept technology into our lives. But it's just like any other piece of evidence, I think, right? It's all about how the prosecutors tell a story. At the ended of the day, it's about storytelling and persuasion.

And so, yes, you could interpret that phone data evidence, any type of way. It might not be accurate. Maybe something else really happened. But if you tell the story and it's compelling, that that's what jurors are going to go with.

HEYE: And I think that's ultimately Donte's point, is there's one thing, right? There may be a million things to talk about, there's one thing they glom on to. And so if you go back to the movie, 12 Angry Men, which is like the greatest story of juries all time, it comes down to Henry Fonda saying, did you notice that she had notches on her eyes?


Was she wearing her glasses or not? And that's what one by one turned all of the jurors. This is what happens in court cases all the time.

MILLS: But it's funny that Alex thought that he could convince them. He could get up on the stand. And his counsel told him not testified. He testified over his their objection because he thought he was going to be able to convince them. He knew all of the tricks. He turned towards them, he leaned in, he did the fake cry and it didn't work.

CAMEROTA: Because he was an attorney, so he knew all the tricks.

MILLS: Absolutely.

MCENROE: He would have done a lot better off saying yes and no to the answers. And I thought the prosecutor -- and we played that tonight as well. They did that amazing job of going through what his other plausible scenario was about who it could have been and the fact that it was so implausible as you went through.

So, you're telling us this, well, it was obvious that the jury believed what the prosecutor was saying that, that's just completely implausible what could have happened.

CAMEROTA: The prosecutor also said that he'd let Alex Murdaugh talk and that Alex Murdaugh talked too much.

MILLS: I was watching. As a trial attorney, I'm watching it and I'm cringing. Because on cross-examination, you're supposed to tell your story as the attorney and just have the witness either agree or disagree. But he would ask him a question and then say, well, explain. And he just let Alex talk. And I'm sitting there saying -- I teach law at Temple University and I'm saying that's not how you do it. But it actually worked. And, apparently, that was his plan. He wanted him to talk himself off the cliff and, in fact, he did.

HEYE: Alisyn, sometimes the toughest question you can ask somebody you're interviewing is, go on, and let them do it.

ALFORD: Journalists know that trick. Well, yes, let people talk and that they'll tell you more than they actually intended to sometimes.

CAMEROTA: Yes, great point. I'm so surprised, Dough, that you don't watch trials and haven't for decades. I find them fascinating. So, you don't --

HEYE: That's great. I'm glad you do.

CAMEROTA: Thank you, Doug, for letting me be me, but I --

HEYE: There's always something to learn here.

CAMEROTA: I mean. I just -- they're so field with suspense and pathos and you know the human struggle, like I can't believe that you don't respond to any of that. They're like ready-made for T.V. That's why I love having cameras in the courtroom because we get to watch democracy in action and the criminal justice system.

HEYE: I mean, I prefer having cameras in the courtroom than seeing the weird sketches that we all see sometime on like NBC Nightly News where it doesn't look like Tom Brady when he's talking about deflating footballs, but, no.

MILLS: You have to admit, there's something about real life, and these are real people, real death, real relationships. And when you look at someone and say, this was his wife and his son, you don't want to believe that he did it. So, that's part of why you're invested, like I want to be convinced because I don't want to think there's people out there who can just do this for no reason.

HEYE: Sure. But also the reality is this sadly happens in America every day and there are trials every day, every week that we could pay attention to and we don't. Why do we pay attention to this one? Because it was a really wealthy guy in South Carolina who was a big shot lawyer. That's why everybody paid attention to it.

CAMEROTA: Yes, that's one reason. I mean, I do think that there's a fascination to that. But also killing your son, killing your family, that's unusual.

HEYE: And still sadly happens in America a whole lot.

CAMEROTA: Domestic violence, all the time, I totally agree with you that in domestic violence cases, tragically, women are being killed, for sure. But a son and the wife are being -- that's not every day.

MILLS: And there was no history of domestic violence here. There was no history of violence, no friends that said he screamed at her all the time, nothing.

CAMEROTA: That's a great point. Because if there's no hint, then one day, you're going to kill your wife and son? That does make it really weird.

ALFORD: But there was a back story that was building for a while, and that's where I didn't really watch the trial in depth, but I watched the Netflix documentary. CAMEROTA: People say it's fantastic.

ALFORD: It really was powerful because it paints the bigger picture, right, this build-up, this sense of injustice in a small town where you feel like you can't hold this powerful person accountable, you can't win. And so this was kind of a David and Goliath moment if you think about it where the people finally held this really powerful person accountable in a state where, again, that wasn't always the case, justice for the most --

MCENROE: And as a sports guy, I like to say sports is the ultimate reality T.V., this was ultimate reality. I mean, you talk about real life, this is real life.

CAMEROTA: Yes. Friends, thank you very much.

Okay, we're going to move on to this because crime, of course, is a big problem. It's also a hot-button issue at the ballot box. President Biden is getting blowback from his own party because of a new crime bill and which side he's siding with. We'll explain, next.



CAMEROTA: President Biden doing an about-face this week, signaling he will not veto a Republican-led measure to undo a new D.C. crime law. Democrats say they feel blindsided by the President Biden siding with Republicans.

And former Congressman Max Rose joins the panel now. Great to have you here.

FMR. REP. MAX ROSE (D-NY): Thanks for having me.

CAMEROTA: Democrats are ticked off because they want President Biden to side with them. And he's going to not veto this Republican bill. So, can you explain how this all happened?

ROSE: Sure. Well, the a Democratic Party will often never miss an opportunity to lose. And --

HEYE: Republicans feel the same way. I'm a Republican, by the way.

ROSE: So, thank God that Joe Biden and his team are being politically disciplined right now. Polls show -- poll after poll shows that the American people believe that the Democrats and the Republicans are equally extremists, this despite the fact that the vast majority of the Republican Party right now in Congress literally supports burning our Constitution and our democracy to the ground.

This issue of public safety is as politically potent as any other issue. And if we are not on the side of the majority on this issue, then it doesn't matter what else you believe. It doesn't matter what other plans you may have from protecting a woman's right to make her own healthcare decisions, to addressing skyrocketing economic inequality and all the like because Democrats will not be in office. So, this is the right decision.

CAMEROTA: So, let's explain how we got here. This is what was in the D.C. crime law. This was passed by the D.C. City Council and then vetoed by the D.C. mayor who's a Democrat. And then it was in the House supported by Republicans and a couple of Democrats, I guess.


Do I have that right?

ROSE: 31in the House.

CAMEROTA: 31 Democrats in the House, okay.

So, here it is. It would be the elimination of mandatory minimum sentences for many crimes, reduction of maximum sentences for crimes, such as robbery and carjacking, and expand the requirement for jury trials in most misdemeanor cases.

So, Natasha, here's where I think people get caught up, reduction of maximum sentences for crimes such as robbery and carjacking. Why? Who can support that?

ALFORD: Right. The devil is in the details, right? This penal code has not been revised since 1901. So, were talking about black people couldn't vote then and women couldn't vote then, right?

So if you ask people on a local level who are really in the details, they're just saying this is about proportionality and catching up with what the national sort of standard is. 40 years was the maximum for carjacking. They were proposing bringing it down to 24. 40 years is a really long time.

It's not saying that carjacking isn't a problem, it's actually up in new D.C. right now, but they're trying to make it match. But on the national level --

CAMEROTA: Match what? Match other states?

ALFORD: Match other states.


ALFORD: But if you were to ask the average person, crime is a problem, right? It is a big problem. People feel unsafe going to work, they feel unsafe going home, they're seeing these viral videos of these terrible crimes. So, it's a moment of a local issue colliding with national politics. And as you were saying, Max, President Biden is thinking big picture about it even though this might be reasonable on a local level and, unfortunately, it just -- people are going to be upset.

ROSE: It's an unbelievable circumstance. So, we talk about those 31 House Democrats. I promise you, if the Democratic caucus had known that President Biden was going to support this, that would have been well over hundred. And they are pissed right now that they weren't aware of that, and now they're softer on crime than their Democratic president.

CAMEROTA: Shouldn't he have told them what his intentions were?

ROSE: I'm not even sure they knew.

CAMEROTA: Meaning the White House didn't know?

ROSE: Yes. What the interesting thing about this administration, from the very beginning, is the clash of the two different staff groups. You have the Bernie and Warren wing and then you have the folks who are more centrist. And shockingly enough, as the election comes closer and closer, the centrists are gaining more ground. So, I have no doubt there are weeks and weeks of deliberations and debates here and, unfortunately, for those Democrats who voted against the President, they got caught on the wrong side.

MCENROE: I think the minutia of the bill, as these two are talking about, look, Alisyn, you know I do my homework when I come on here, but there are certain things that are outside my reach. But what I do know is that President Biden reads the political wins as good as any politician we've ever seen. That's why even though he's 80 years old, he's still very powerful and has a lot of influence.

So, even if these Democrats are ticked off about this decision, you think they're going leave him when it gets down to crunch time? No, they're not. So, he's playing the card, which Natasha talked about, crime is a huge issue. It's a very serious issue. Nobody is going to say, I'm against having, you know, tougher crime laws. So, he's reading the political wins and he is doing exactly what -- he's got the power now after what's happened in the last month or so at the state of the union and he is saying, you know what, I'm going to flex my muscles.

HEYE: A lot of things can be true at the same time. Everything, everyone has said is true. Let me take you back to September 2021. 8:45 P.M. I'm walking to Whole Foods, to go to the grocery store.

CAMEROTA: In Washington D.C.

HEYE: And two guys jumped me and they run into a running car waiting for them. Cops come, cops were great. They told me, we think the same people did this ten minutes earlier and then they sort of shrug their soldiers. We'll never find them. We're never going to solve this.

CAMEROTA: That's what they said to you?

HEYE: To me.

CAMEROTA: The police said to you, we're never going find them and we're never going to solve this?

HEYE: Never going to find them. We're never going to solve this, it happened ten minutes earlier half a mile away. This happens every day in Washington D.C. And this is where multiple things can be true at the same time. What we also know is so many people are leaving Washington D.C. because they didn't get carjacked but their neighbor or the person across the street. I know four people in the last two years who have left D.C. because of carjackings. And so what the District of Columbia does is they advertise, which is what this legislation does, we don't take crime seriously, and they tell you that they do, but they don't. So, if you go on the metro --

CAMEROTA: But hold on, let me just stop you there for second, because I'm curious with what Natasha said.

So, lowering the sentencing for carjacking from 40 years for 24 tells people we don't take it seriously. Do you think criminals are listening with that close --

HEYE: Sure they are. Go in the Washington metro and you see a sign that talks about who are people jumping over the turnstiles, which is not enforced, by the way. And it shows you what the penalties are in D.C., in Virginia and in Maryland. In Maryland, it's $100. In Virginia it's $100. In D.C., it's $50. They're advertising, we don't take it seriously.

And so this is what Joe Biden, he reacted late, he screwed his party over to be really blunt about it, he ultimately made the right decision. Yes, there are questions of state -- you know, home rule and all of that, but weren't addressed properly.


But he's reacting to how people are reacting to crime and it's a personal issue, a big personal issue.

ALFORD: So, you know, the sexual assault, for example, the maximum time that you could do for sexual assault was actually increased in this bill, right, went from 5 years to 15 years. So, again, the devil is in the details, but at a time like this where we're so partisan, it seems we can get on the same page about what is reasonable. 40 years for carjacking, the majority of D.C. residence, black and white, are saying we want common sense criminal justice reform. And there was a time when we were bipartisan on this. Donald Trump was right there for the First Step Act.

HEYE: That's exactly right. We can support the Equal Acts.

AFLORD: But we have gotten away from that. It's just too black or white.

HEYE: We can support the Equal Act and do -- we can be tough on crime and do criminal justice reform, things like the Equal Act and the First Step Act at the same time. Trump was great on this. As a Republican, I don't say Trump was great on a lot of things very often, right? He was really good and effective on criminal justice.

CAMEROTA: But it's his own party who's undermining the bipartisanship that we could have because they want to score political points.

HEYE: In this case it's the District of Columbia City Council, which Charles Allen who's doing this.

ROSE: So, this has nothing to do with policy. There's no carjacker in the world who says, I was going to do it, but then I realized it was 40 years, not 24.

HEYE: They're coming in from Prince Georges County stealing cars and doing this place by place in the District of Columbia. It happens every day.

ROSE: That is not because of the amount of time they would do in jail. That is fundamentally false. But this is what this is about, plain and simple, is this is about politics. From a political vantage point, the president did the right thing because I don't want to see Donald Trump get re-elected.

HEYE: I think we agree especially after the Chicago mayor election, it became a lot more political.

ROSE: But now you noted that many things can be true at the same time. Here is what cannot be true. You cannot come out and say you support D.C. -- statehood D.C. home rule and just say, unless they have something that I really don't like.

HEYE: I don't disagree with you.

ROSE: That is fundamentally contradictory, hypocritical, but, again, I do applaud the political discipline. That is what really matters here from the vantage point of the White House.

MCENROE: And to Doug story and his point, do you know anybody that got attacked at a gas station in California while pumping gas? You do now, because that was me.

HEYE: There you go.

MCENROE: Cold cock attacked, from behind.

CAMEROTA: Meaning you're a punch.

MCENROE: I was punched in the face in a California gas station, my rental car, out of the blue, nothing happened. I turned around like. Next thing I knew, I'm on the ground bleeding profusely. Same thing, cops came, said what happened, did you have an argument while you were -- no. I was just literally pumping gas.

CAMEROTA: Did they steal your wallet or something?

MCENROE: No, nothing.

CAMEROTA: Really? And wait hold on, I'm not done. And the cop said, oh, we can't solve this?

MCENROE: The cops said, well, there's some drug issues going around the area, I was in the Palm Springs area. There are some gang issues going around. Interestingly, a car pulled up a couple minutes as I was dusting myself off and, you know, they came out, we called the cops, before the cops came, hey, we think the guy went back into this mall back there. Do you want to come in and get him? I said, I don't think so. So, it was a setup.

HEYE: You are talking about a professional athlete. I'm not a small guy. I'm still jumpy at night walking the sidewalks. So, if you're my friend, Julie, who's five foot tall who left Washington D.C. because she's scared, that makes a lot of sense. And that's happening all over the country right now.

And, again, the Chicago mayor election shows why Biden made this decision. He didn't make it before that race.

ROSE: Well, I've never been attack but I'm pretty intimidating.

CAMEROTA: Well, they're scary stories, guys.

Okay. Thank you all for that and sharing those personal stories.

Meanwhile, another one in East Palestine, Ohio, 70 percent of people who took a health survey have now reported having headaches and other symptoms, after that toxic train derailment last month. How long will it take to know these are lasting health consequences? Someone who grew up in the middle of another environmental disaster is going to join us with what her life was like, next.



CAMEROTA: It's been one month since that toxic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. In a new op-ed for "The New York Times," one writer reflects on her experience growing up in the middle of another environmental disaster and offers a warning to East Palestine residents about what they need to do now.

That writer, Vanessa Ogle, joins our panel. Vanessa, thanks so much for being here. I read your story with incredible interest. You grew up in a small town in Central Michigan, in close proximity to a chemical plant where starting in 1973 toxic chemicals, like the flame retardant, PBB, got mixed up accidentally with the livestock feed --


CAMEROTA: -- and that ended up coloring and affecting your life you're your town for decades. And so, what was it like growing up there?

OGLE: Yes, I think it was something that has shaped a lot of my life. I knew a lot of people who suffered from mysterious health problems, cancers, skin issues, things that make me really concerned for the people in Ohio.

CAMEROTA: Because it went on -- I mean, it wasn't just an event that happened one day and one month and then it was over. It went on for decades.

OGLE: Yes. CAMEROTA: And furthermore, then there was another leak from that chemical plant of DDT --

OGLE: Yes.

CAMEROTA: -- which we know -- we all know is horribly poisonous. And so, to this day, what is happening in your town?

OGLE: Yes. So, to this day, there is an order to not consume any of the fish. You cannot or should not swim in a river that is really very beautiful and the residents are not able to enjoy it like they should be able to.

CAMEROTA: And I mean, I was reading, you said that like growing up birds -- dead birds would just drop from the sky.

OGLE: Yes. So, the birds were contaminated because they were eating the worms that were in the soil that was contaminated. So, you see how one thing impacts the entire ecosystem.


CAMEROTA: I mean, that has to cast appall, I would imagine, over your childhood and teenage years, like were you walking around -- was it a carefree child -- adolescence or were you -- was this ever-present in your community?

OGLE: I think it definitely is a backdrop of how you view the world, why you understand you can't swim in a river that, you know, other towns you might be able to do that. I think that you see people, you know, drinking more bottled water just out of precautions. And so, I think it is something that definitely impacted my childhood.

CAMEROTA: So, what do you say to the people of East Palestine for that?

OGLE: I think they have to continue to advocate for themselves. As you said, this is something that impacted my community for decades and it's still impacting people to this day. I think people should make note of their symptoms, they should document everything. They should, if they're willing, participate in studies. Michigan has done a lot of studies looking at the PBB contamination in individuals and that can be really beneficial down the road.

CAMEROTA: So, just today, there is a health assessment survey, guys, that has come out from the East Palestine community, asking what they're feeling today, 74 percent still recorded headaches, 64 percent say they have anxiety, 61 percent report coughing, 58 percent report fatigue and tiredness, and 52 percent irritation and pain and burning of the skin. This is a month later. I mean, this is just -- the health assessment was just released today.

And so, when you say advocate for themselves, what does that look like? What should they be doing?

OGLE: Yeah. I think, as I stated, documentation, that's very important. You don't know what type of lawsuits will happen in the future. You want to make sure that you are prepared. And I think just making sure that you're staying engaged with your fellow community members that you have a power in numbers, that you're bonding together and really focusing on making it as bipartisan as possible so that everyone can, you know, receive the care and help that they deserve.

PATRICK MCENROE, HOST, "HOLDING COURT" PODCAST: It's awful to hear this type of story so personal from Vanessa. And unfortunately, we've been hearing a lot of stories like this, whether it's a train derailment, whether it's issues on planes, chemicals in the air.

And it -- I always think about a situation like this hearing when politicians are ranting and raving about get the government out of our lives, you know, we don't want the government messing with what we're doing. And then I'm thinking to myself, now, wait a second, who are we counting on to deal with these issues?

Every single day of our lives, we get on the subway or we take -- get on a train or we get on a -- we're lucky enough to get on a plane. It's government entities, right, that are supposed to look out for us. So, when I hear them constantly say, government, get out of our lives, I think, wait a second, that's who like keeps us all safe. We have to have some --

CAMEROTA: Well, ideally.

MCENROE: We -- yeah.

CAMEROTA: I mean, ideally. But Max, should government be doing more right now in East Palestine?


UNKNOWN: Absolutely.

ROSE: I mean, this is a rolling justification, as you said, for the role of governance from the regulations that should've been placed -- in place beforehand to the air screening, the water screening, and so on, and so forth, to all of the health screenings that you mentioned earlier.

You know, I find it fascinating, to your point, how J.D. Vance, the ultra MAGA isolationist Republican is the first one out of the shoot joining with Sherrod Brown saying that we need more regulations now that it has impacted my constituents. But to also bring this back to politics, and everything comes back to politics in the end, the fact that Donald Trump has been to the site but President Biden has not, I cannot for the life of me understand this.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. Why do you think that is?

ROSE: Look, I think, the Democrats' weakness of my party is that at times we get to wonky. You want -- well, this is a crisis area.

DOUG HEYE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: You overthink it. They overthink it too much. ROSE: I don't want to get in the way of this person or that person,

isn't it? Secretary Buttigieg did the same thing when in the reality this is a moment for real leadership, moral leadership, and it -- there are political implications to that as well. And if I were advising him or -- he should be there immediately.

HEYE: It is fascinating along this because we think of Joe Biden as the real president and that shouldn't just be passenger rail --

CAMEROTA: Who rides the train everyday -- yeah.

HEYE: That should be freight rail as well. And we don't think about freight rail every day of our lives, and most Americans -- and if you don't live on the eastern seaboard, don't think about, you know, passenger rail either. But this is -- should be an opportunity for Biden, also for Michael Regan at EPA and Secretary Buttigieg, but they've been too late on this and there's already an example of how this has gotten wrong, and it was George W. Bush flying over Hurricane Katrina.


Politics is about people. It's always about people. This is the crime discussion we're having. So, when a train derailment happens and toxic chemicals are spilled and those things are not just going to contaminate water, they're going to contaminate lives for decades. Anybody who watches cable news sees ad nauseam, commercials for Camp Lejeune and the groundwater contamination.

CAMEROTA: (Inaudible).

HEYE: I worked on that issue.


HEYE: And it took a long time to figure out who got what and who is able to, you know, be able to determine where it came from. These things happen too often, politicians, Republicans and Democrats, should be overly aggressive.

CAMEROTA: And do you have a theory on why President Biden has not gone?

HEYE: I -- well, to me, it is not about Biden, it is about the administration. And -- that Michael Regan and Secretary Pete -- we call him Secretary Pete because he rides his scooters and we like him and all of that -- but they weren't there on the ground saying, this administration cares about you and is listening and looking. They're the first line of defense.

You know, when there's a -- when there's a hurricane, the president doesn't need to be there. FEMA needs to be there. But ultimately, that lack of -- lack of access and inaction from the administration, then puts it on Biden. So, when Biden gets there, it's going to be too late and that is slightly unfair. I think the Republican attacks of you're in Ukraine but not here are unfair. But that happens because the administration wasn't on the ground immediately.

MCENROE: I think sometimes political calculation is necessary, like in the issue that we discussed earlier with the D.C. Bill. Sometimes you've got to go with your gut --


MCENROE: -- and this time they should've gone with their gut.

CAMEROTA: Vanessa, thank you very much for being here and sharing your story. That's a really interesting and heartbreaking to hear what happened there. So, thanks also for the message to East Palestine.

OGLE: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Okay. Now, to something lighter, imagine being on a cruise ship, visiting 135 countries, seeing all seven continents. All your meals are included, even the boos. And the monthly price is cheaper you're your rent. Does that not sound great? There is only one thing. You have to sign up for three years. Would you do it? We will discuss, next.




CAMEROTA: Do you like to go on cruises? We've got great one for you. You will visit 135 countries, all seven continents, you will see Machu Picchu and the Great Wall of China and Chichen Itza, but there is a catch. You have to go on the cruise for three years. You have to commit now for three years.

I'm back with my panel. Guys, part of it is -- sounds great to me because it is 2,500 a month, okay, which is a lower of a lot of rent and mortgages, okay? And all your food is included. Obviously, all of your lodging. You're on the cruise ship. You're going to seven continents, some booze is thrown in, by the way, Doug.

HEYE: What do you mean some?

CAMEROTA: And -- yeah. I knew you'd -- now, I have your attention. But you have to go for three years. That's a -- that's a big commitment. Okay, Max, are you in?

ROSE: It sounds tremendous.

CAMEROTA: So, you like it? So, you're in?

ROSE: Sign me up.

MCENROE: You're so fun (ph), come on?

ROSE: This sounds (inaudible) --

MCENROE: I mean, maybe three weeks but --

ROSE: No, look. I can't even take this seriously. I mean, I'm imagining, you know, I come -- I come from a family, you know, a loud Jewish, New York, fighting family. I mean, can you have a family fight on one of these cruises? Like how does -- how does this work? This is the funniest, weirdest thing I have ever heard in my life. But I'm fascinated by it. I'm not ruling it out. I'm not ruling it out.

CAMEROTA: There you go.

MCENROE: I think -- I think we've come -- I think we've come a long way because when COVID first started hitting like that was like, oh, my God, you're stuck on a cruise --


MCENROE: -- and they couldn't get back to shore. The last place you'd ever want to be is on a ship.

CAMEROTA: We have amnesia about that now.

MCENROE: And now, it's like, oh, let's just go take a cruise for three -- as I said, maybe three weeks, but three years --

CAMEROTA: Three years? You're right. Here's what's so -- also so fascinating, guys, you're on with a 1,074 other people. So, you better really like those other thousand people --


CAMEROTA: -- because it's like a traveling commute. You are -- they're your neighbors --

HEYE: Or Petri dish.

CAMEROTA: -- or Petri dish -- for three years. I see this like as like a spinoff of White Lotus, like --

ALFORD: I -- you took the words out of my mouth.

CAMEROTA: I mean, imagine (ph) --

ALFORD: I was like it sounds promising, but this actually could be a nightmare.


ALFORD: I could see it if maybe you're like a little bit younger, single, you're ready to mingle. By the time you get to those three years --


ALFORD: -- you might have a fiance or two, I don't know. It sounds like something that is for the unanchored person.

CAMEROTA: Literally. I like that.

HEYE: Unanchored, it's good -- that's good.

CAMEROTA: I like that.

HEYE: So, I'm thinking of two different TV shows, one, "Quincy," who lived on a house boat while he was solving crimes and loving the ladies, and then, obviously, the "Love Boat." And ultimately, it comes down to a third TV show. There's a three-hour tour, no chance.

MCENROE: I thought you'd say you might end up on Gilligan's Island.

CAMEROTA: That is it.

MCENROE: Get me off this thing. That's it, right?

CAMEROTA: That is it. That is it. And that was just three hours. This is three years.

HEYE: Yeah. Right. Even if Jack Clogg (ph) when he is solving those crimes, no chance.


CAMEROTA: That's -- so, you're a hard no.

HEYE: Hard no.

CAMEROTA: Hard no for you.

ROSE: Also, a nice price.


ROSE: That's a nice price, 2,500 a month?

CAMEROTA: I mean it's for your food and everything.

ROSE: All you can eat, all you can drink?

CAMEROTA: Yeah. Oh, by the way, I've been -- okay. How many of you have been on a cruise?

MCENROE: I've been on one, yes.

ROSE: A couple, yeah.


ALFORD: I haven't, no.

HEYE: For reasons aforementioned.

CAMEROTA: Okay. Well, you can eat your face off on a cruise.

MCENROE: You can eat a lot. And there's not that many places -- I mean, I know that they have these little pseudo-gyms, depending on how big it is, but how many times can you walk around that floor of the cruise ship --

CAMEROTA: The den?

MCENROE: -- to get those steps in.

ALFORD: How do they even regulate though? People have been behaving so badly in public lately. I saw like a brawl on a cruise recently.

HEYE: Is Sharowin (ph) involved by the way? If Sharowin (ph) is involved, I might rethink.

CAMEROTA: She's the special guest star.

HEYE: I might rethink if she's involved.

CAMEROTA: She's the special guest star. I don't know, part of me -- I mean, three years, that's not realistic right now. But I don't know, as a retiree going to all these fabulous places, going to see --

ROSE: You could bring the whole panel.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. I could bring you, guys.

MCENROE: Yeah. We could -- we could -- we could just talk like this every night just for fun.

CAMEROTA: That sounds fantastic and slightly tortures. So, just think about it, guys. That's all I'm asking.

ROSE: Okay.


CAMEROTA: All right. Meanwhile, we have to tell you the story. Our colleague and CNN anchor Kasie Hunt welcomed her new daughter to the world, but the labor was anything but ordinary. Her baby daughter's name Grey and Grey did not make it to the hospital for the delivery. She was delivered at home on the bathroom floor. We'll tell you what happened, next.

MCENROE: Oh, my gosh. Wow.



CAMEROTA: All of us here at CNN sending our love and congratulations to our colleague, Kasie Hunt, who just delivered her second child, a daughter named Grey. But Grey's arrival did not go as planned. Kasie was at home in Washington on Wednesday morning when she went into a sudden labor. And a quick 13 minutes later, she gave birth to Grey on the bottom floor. You can see where there still. Fortunately, her husband, Matt, was home to help. Kasie later posted photos on Twitter, joking that Grey welcomed herself into the world and thanking D.C. Fire EMS and 9-1-1 operators for guiding them through the delivery and then getting them quickly and safely to a hospital.

The baby was supposed to be born during a scheduled C-section the next day, but clearly Grey wanted a March 1st birthday. She weighed in at 8 pounds 4 ounces. So, congratulations to Kasie.

Okay. Coming up, Tennessee Republican governor signing two controversial bills that target LGBTQ rights and he is being called out for hypocrisy on multiple levels. That is next.