Return to Transcripts main page

New Day

Les Claypool is Interviewed about Song about Zelenskyy; Buffet Calls Stock Market a Gambling Parlor; Covid Long-Haulers Struggle for Care. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired May 02, 2022 - 06:30   ET





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please, no more. No.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, that is Angelina Jolie, actress and special U.N. envoy, rushing from the Lviv train station as air raid sirens went off in that city. At the main railway station she met Ukrainian civilians who have been displaced by the war. She spoke with volunteers providing medical and psychological assistance for evacuees. Jolie also visited a school talking with students, taking pictures and promising that she would come again. She also visited children who were injured that that Russian missile strike on the Kramatorsk train station last month. Dozens were killed in that attack.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Primus front man Les Claypool teaming up with a Ukrainian musician and several other musicians to recording an anthem paying homage to President Zelenskyy. Here it is.


LES CLAYPOOL, BASSIST AND VOCALIST FOR PRIMUS: World of difference to go beyond what duty calls. The world now knows Zelenskyy, that's the man with the iron balls.


KEILAR: And Les is with us now.

Les, it is so great to have you join us this morning to talk about this.


Can you just tell us a little bit about why you decided, you know, you wanted to make this song? LES CLAYPOOL, BASSIST AND VOCALIST FOR PRIMUS: Well, it came at a time

when I really had no time or energy or desire to do any other recording projects. I was in the middle of quite a few different things, four different projects, actually. And then I was hanging out and drinking with some friends of mine from Poland on February 24th and, you know, a couple of them lived just 50 miles from the border and the invasion was going on. So, you know, we were commiserating, so to speak. And the next thing you know I started texting Eugene, my buddy from Gogoburdela (ph). And the notion came up of, we should do something, some piece of art, to raise awareness. And we were impressed by the fortitude of Mr. Zelenskyy. And the notion further came about that, you know, he had balls of steel as it were. And, subsequently, it became the man with the iron balls.

KEILAR: And so shift from steel to iron. Was there any reason for that?

CLAYPOOL: It just worked better in verse.

KEILAR: I see. Two syllables, right, instead of one.

The song is so much about -- it's about dignity in the face of incredible odds. And part of it is in Ukrainian. I wonder if you've heard from Ukrainians who are listening to it.

CLAYPOOL: I have not, but Eugene is in the thick of it all, you know, and he's a very passionate human being. You know, the whole idea was not to make a song of condemnation, you know, it was more about just pointing out -- I, in my tenure on this planet, I've never seen a leader of such fortitude. It's a pretty amazing thing when a man says, and I'm paraphrasing, give me weapons not a ride. That's -- you know, that's some Patrick Henry dialogue there. So, we were just very impressed with him and his leadership. So.

KEILAR: Yes. I mean he's become a household name, right? And a lot of people had no idea, of course, who he was before.

I also should mention, you said you were busy. You are. You are on tour right now. Primus has a new EP Consiranoid (ph). You have this new song out as well.

I do wonder what you think, as you were sitting there commiserating with your friends, what do you think the role of musical artists is in this war?

CLAYPOOL: You know, it's tuff because a lot of people don't want to get involved in any form of social/political statement. You know, even my buddy Stuart Copeland, who's on the song, he said all of a sudden he started getting all this -- these -- all this hate mail through his socials from just doing this particular song.

KEILAR: Really?

CLAYPOOL: Which is -- you know, it's -- oh, yes, it's -- you know, they were -- he got trolled right away. So, it's odd times because we live in an environment where people can flex their machismo and spread their information and disinformation and bully, for lack of a better term, much more readily. So, I don't know, I mean --

KEILAR: Yes, no, it's so true.

CLAYPOOL: Yes. So, I mean, to me, obviously, growing up, you know, I was a youngster. You know, we had the Buffalo Springfields and we had the Bob Dylans, we had all these people that were standing up and saying these things, and I would assume that not just the music world but the art world in general will react to what's going on.

KEILAR: Yes, well, look, it's a meaningful song. It's also a catchy song, I will say, Les, and I appreciate you talking with us this morning about it.

Les Claypool, thanks so much.

CLAYPOOL: Yes, thank you.

KEILAR: One of the nation's most admired business execs has some choice words for Wall Street. Why Warren Buffett things the stock market is more like a gambling parlor.

BERMAN: And Johnny Depp versus Amber Heard, back in the courtroom today. Heard making a big change to her team before she takes the stand.



BJJ: So it may not have Wayne Newton or the all you can eat buffets, but Wall Street seems to be more like Las Vegas nowadays. That's what Warren Buffett is suggesting. The billionaire Oracle of Omaha telling investors, the stock market is a, quote, gambling parlor.

CNN's Christine Romans, chief business correspondent, here with more.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It has a 1950s ring to it, the phrase --

BERMAN: If not 1850s.

ROMANS: Yes, gambling parlor. But it's a complaint we've heard from Buffett before. He says the last couple of years, though, it's gotten worse. The Berkshire Hathaway chief executive blasting Wall Street for encouraging risk to make money, essentially making large American companies poker chips for market speculation.


WARREN BUFFETT, CEO, BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY: The market has been extraordinary. It -- it -- sometimes it's -- it's quite investment- oriented and other times it's -- it's almost totally a casino and it's a gambling parlor. And that existed to an extraordinary degree in the last couple years. Wall Street makes money on -- on -- one way or another, catching the

crumbs that fall off the table of capitalism.

And they make a lot more money when people are gambling than when they're investing.


ROMANS: This was at Berkshire Hathaway's annual shareholder meeting Saturday.

And this is classic Buffett. He has often criticized investment banks and brokerage firms, right?


In his view, sometimes they're speculators, not investors. They pedal sophisticated instruments that go far behind -- beyond hedging, trades that make firms money but they don't create any value in the economy. Retail traders have flooded the market during the pandemic, of course, bringing even more volatility.

But all this gambling, as he calls it, does create opportunity for him. When the casino badly undervalues something, Buffett goes shopping. Berkshire spent an astounding $41 billion on stocks in the first quarter alone.

Now, speaking of gambling, Buffett and the Berkshire vice chair, Charlie Munger, they had no kind words for cryptocurrency. Buffett says it isn't worth anything because it doesn't produce anything. Munger calling Bitcoin stupid, John, evil. He said it makes people look foolish.

BERMAN: And the Bitcoin people all look at those guys and say --

ROMANS: Yes, the crypto bros are like, forget it, we're -- we're -- you are in a different -- a different generation, a different planet than they are on in crypto world.

BERMAN: Go back to the parlors they say.

ROMANS: The gambling parlor, yes.

BERMAN: Romance, thank you very much.

So, Oprah Wintry reveals she spent 322 days straight inside her own home during the pandemic and now she's upset over what she calls America's Covid amnesia. The new interview, next.

KEILAR: And what did Bill Murray do that brought filming of his new movie to a sudden halt? He's now talk being it.


[06:50:30] KEILAR: In Oprah's new documentary, "Color of Care," she explores how Covid-19 has exposed racial inequities in the health system. She says she was first inspired by the story of one black family in particular.


OPRAH WINFREY: I read about a black family in Detroit named the Fowlers, And I have to tell you, their harrowing story would not let me rest. In fact, it haunted me.

The father, Gary Fowler, worked hard his entire life to provide for his family. And at 56 years old, he was working 80 hours a week as a security guard because his greatest desire was to create a secure, beautiful life for his loved ones.

He became ill, started experiencing Covid symptoms. He went to three different hospitals. That's right, three different hospitals. And here's what stopped me cold, each hospital sent him home, even though he told them that he had put his own father in the hospital for Covid.

Try to imagine yourself, or your loved one, going to three different hospitals asking -- begging for help.

Eventually, Mr. Fowler became so tired, so exhausted, he went home, sat in his favorite recliner, and that's where he died, because hospitals did not think he was sick enough to treat.

Well, this devastating story had me wondering, how many other Gary Fowlers are there out there? Research says there are far too many. And we need to do something about the larger pandemic that Covid has exposed, disparities in our health care system that cost lives.

This can be changed, and we're the ones to do it.


KEILAR: To that question, how many other Gary Fowlers are out there, came an answer that led Oprah to an "L.A. Times" staff writer, Marissa Evans. Marissa is the daughter of Gary Evans, another black man of near 97,000 black people in America who have died from Covid-19 complications.

Oprah agreed to an interview with Marissa because she says she knew Marissa could relate and continued saying she is shocked by what has been coined Covid amnesia. She said, quote, one of the reasons I read all of those stories is because I am appalled. I am stunned. I don't recognize a country where you've lost nearly a million people and there hasn't been some form of remembering that is significant. Not at the opening of a speech or mentioning at a State of the Union, I mean that there hasn't been a communal gathering where there is acknowledgment that this has happened to us. Who are we that there is no acknowledgement profoundly in our society that we have lost our loved ones and at times weren't not even able to bury our dead? Who are we that we don't recognize the significance of that acknowledgment?

As Oprah reflects on America's Covid experience and the one million lives lost, she is pleading.


OPRAH WINFREY: It is my fervent hope that this film helped to open your heart a little bit and the way you see health disparities, because the crisis is far bigger than Covid. Acknowledging and understanding the problem is a lifesaving essential first step.


BERMAN: We have new reporting this morning on Covid long haulers who have had so much trouble shaking their symptoms. They've also struggled to find doctors who understand how to treat them. But CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports that might be changing.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Nitza Rochez felt her best when she was moving. In March 2020, the New Yorker got Covid. Just 43 years old, Nitza was young and healthy and wasn't too worried, until one night in April.

NITZA ROCHEZ, LONG COVID PATIENT: I woke up in the middle of the night because of like a drumming or pounding sound. It was literally the sound of my heart. And I went to the emergency room.

GUPTA: Wat unfolded next is the story of long Covid. A story that has now been repeated millions of times in the United States. An odyssey of doctors visits, almost all of them resulting in normal test results despite her feeling otherwise.

ROCHEZ: I just had a lot of odd and bizarre symptoms for the next month that got progressively worse and then escalated to tremors.

GUPTA (on camera): You believe we're dealing with a new sort of disease here?



GUPTA (voice over): Dr. Zijian Chen is medical director for Mount Sinai Center for Post-Covid Care, the first such center established in the country.

GUPTA (on camera): Are you able to predict who is most likely to develop long covid?

CHEN: Those patients admitted to the hospitals with the most severe symptoms during their initial illness, the risk of them having long lasting symptoms is higher. But that doesn't mean that, you know, if you have a small fever or mild symptoms at home that you're immune to it.

GUPTA (voice over): Covid's lingering impacts are vast, from the brain to our hearts. A study of patients from the VA who had Covid early on in the pandemic were 60 percent more likely to have developed any cardiac issues, including heart disease and cardiac arrest a full year out.

GUPTA (on camera): But the idea that even if I didn't get that sick, that I could have long lasting symptoms, I don't want to overstate this, but how frightening is that?

CHEN: It's very frightening. I mean it's like stepping up to a gambling table at Vegas and risking losing everything.

GUPTA (voice over): And that's what makes it all the more puzzling. It's not clear who develops long Covid, who recovers or why it happens in the first place. Best estimates, around 30 percent of people who had Covid still have symptoms at least three months after infection.

CHEN: I think the thing that surprised us the most is really just the breadth of disease. Like, why so many different symptoms.

GUPTA: So far there are just theories, an overly active immune system still trying to fight the virus despite not being infected anymore, or perhaps bits of the virus still hidden in our bodies, or simply the wreckage from the virus that can cause things like blood clots, choking off blood supply to everything from our nose to our toes.

ROCHEZ: I had all of these bizarre symptoms, include trembling legs and arms, could not move my legs. I started walking with a cane.

GUPTA: She saw multiple neurologists and cardiologists, dozens of visits with everyone trying to address a specific organ of her body. None of it really made a difference until she got to Mount Sinai, a place she says finally focused on her as a whole patient.

ROCHEZ: Instead of being dismissed, my doctor actually could finish sentences for me on how the symptoms were affecting me.

GUPTA: Even here, though, there are no easy answers, and long Covid does remain a mystery. For Nitza, she did find some relief with steroids and over a year's worth of physical therapy. She still has brain fog at times and her movement is still limited, but she's back to work and on her feet.

ROCHEZ: I can exercise. Compared to a year ago, I would say I'm running a marathon right now.


GUPTA: Now, Brianna and John, I'll tell you, there's a lot about long Covid that we still don't know, as you just heard there. Dr. Chen says we may be dealing with an entirely new disease and we just have to take the evidence as it comes in. Lots of theories out there. The NIH is dedicating a lot of resources to understanding what's happening and what best to do to treat patients with long Covid.

One bright spot that's come up in study after study is that people who are vaccinated, even after they potentially become infected, do dramatically reduce the chance that they're going to develop long Covid. It's not perfect but it really offers some protection against the long duration of these symptoms.

Brianna. John.

BERMAN: So many people looking for answers there.

And NEW DAY continues right now.

All right, I'm John Berman, with Brianna Keilar, on this NEW DAY.

Evacuations underway at the Mariupol stronghold in Ukraine where hundreds of civilians are trapped and taking fire from Russian forces.

Plus, a manhunt this morning for an alleged killer and a corrections officer. Did she help him escape? The sheriff joins us live.

KEILAR: And the special grand jury convenes. It begins in the investigation of Donald Trump's interference, alleged interference, in the Georgia election.

And an emotional honor. Naomi Judd's daughters, Ashley and Wynonna, appearing at their mother's Hall of Fame induction just 24 hours after her sudden death. Why they say she couldn't hang on.

Good morning to viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. It is Monday, May 2nd. I'm Brianna Keilar, with John Berman.

Freedom and sunlight for more than 100 Ukrainian civilians trapped in darkness for weeks and months in that steel plant in Mariupol. Hundreds more remain hunkered down still inside the plant, which has become a last line of defense in the city that's been all but destroyed.


A Ukrainian military commander says after the first wave of evacuees got out, shelling of the site resumed, hit.