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Ex-FDA Chief: U.S. "Failed To Contain" Monkeypox, Now It's Too Late; Some Women Denied Miscarriage Care Because Of Abortion Ban; Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck Marry In Vegas Among Civilians. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired July 18, 2022 - 07:30   ET




JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: According to the CDC, there are now more than 1,800 monkeypox cases in the United States. A former FDA commissioner is now saying it might be too late to contain the spread of the virus.


DR. SCOTT GOTTLIEB, FORMER FDA COMMISSIONER: I think the window for getting control of this and containing it probably has closed, and if it hasn't closed it's certainly starting to close. Eleven thousand cases across the world right now -- 1,800 cases, as you said, in the U.S. We're probably detecting just a fraction of the actual cases because we have a very -- we had, for a long time, a very narrow case definition on who got tested.


BERMAN: Joining us now, Dr. Anu Hazra. He's the assistant professor in the section of infectious diseases and global health at the University of Chicago, and director of STI Services at Chicago Center of HIV Elimination. Doctor Hazra, thank you so much for being with us.

Scott Gottlieb says the window has closed or is about to close to contain monkeypox. What do you think of that assessment?

DR. ANU HAZRA, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, DIRECTOR OF STI SERVICES AT CHICAGO CENTER OF HIV ELIMINATION (via Webex by Cisco): I mean, I think the window is certainly closing, currently. We -- again, like you mentioned, we have over 10,000 cases globally and have been really limited by stagnated testing. But I think it's a bit premature to say that it's completely closed.

And there is a global perspective to consider as well. No country has been able to successfully contain monkeypox, really, at this time.

BERMAN: There is a difference. People see monkeypox containment, lack of containment, and, of course, fresh in their mind is coronavirus and COVID. There is a difference in terms of the spread and the timing of how quickly you have to contain this.

HAZRA: Yes. I mean, a lot of comparisons are currently being made between COVID and monkeypox, which are certainly valid. Like the beginning of COVID was a really difficult time to test. Concern for uncontrolled spread. But there are some major biological differences between these two viruses.

The incubation period, which is typically defined as the time from exposure to a virus to when someone is contagious. For COVID, it's really short. It's only about three to five days. But for monkeypox, it's about seven to 14 days. So it gives us an idea to -- a window to really maximize contact tracing and quarantine, which really had a limited effect with COVID-19 but would be more empowered with monkeypox.

BERMAN: So, it is so important I think to note this is not a straight disease-a gay disease, but it is having a disproportionate impact in certain communities. Explain.

HAZRA: Yes. I mean, no virus really cares about who you are or what your sexuality is, so I really want to make sure we always make it clear that monkeypox is not a gay disease. But it's important to recognize that certain populations can be disproportionately impacted by certain communicable diseases. And it's really important that we create person-centered practical tools to help people protect themselves and stay healthy.


And with monkeypox, we see the far majority of cases currently at the beginning of this outbreak really occurring in gay and bisexual men and sex with men. So it's really important that we're able to educate these populations on how to take care of themselves and remain healthy.

BERMAN: And you are hearing a frustration among the gay community that they are not able to get access to the vaccines that they feel that they need now. Why not?

HAZRA: Yes. So, I think we've been -- the vaccine supply, while we have a little north of one million vaccine doses, have been really plagued by certain delays -- particularly, the vaccine doses that are overseas. I think the FDA finally cleared those vaccine doses to finally enter the United States. I'm hoping our supply will continue to increase in the coming weeks. But there is demand that far outweighs the supply that we have currently right now.

It's also important to know that while current cases are disproportionately impacting LGBTQ people -- specifically gay and bisexual men -- this is a population that has very high vaccine confidence. And we saw that with the COVID-19 vaccine where a CDC study showed that over 85% of gay and bisexual adults received the vaccine compared to almost less than 75% of their heterosexual counterparts.

BERMAN: Yes. HAZRA: So we should really be utilizing this vaccine confidence and leveraging towards our efforts.

BERMAN: A lot of people who want to get the vaccine at this point and want to have it available to them.

Dr. Anu Hazra, thank you so much for helping us understand this.

HAZRA: Yes. Thank you for having me.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: We have new CNN reporting this morning on the fallout from new abortion laws across the United States. As more states are moving to ban abortion, some patients say that they're facing hurdles because of those laws as they try to get miscarriage treatment.

In Texas, for example, some pregnant women who have had miscarriages say they are being denied the care that they need or having it delayed as healthcare providers are worried about running afoul of abortion bans.

CNN's senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins us now. So, Elizabeth, what is happening with these women, and what are the hurdles that they're facing because of this?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right, Caitlin. So one in four pregnancies will end in miscarriage and the same surgical procedure that's used to treat a woman who is having a miscarriage is also used for a woman who is seeking an abortion. And that's left some doctors scared to help women who are miscarrying for fear that they'll end up in court.

We spoke to one woman who had such trouble finding care she ended up for two weeks carrying around a dead fetus inside her.


COHEN (voice-over): Marlena Stell and A.D. DeSilva have always wanted a little brother or sister for their daughter Adelina. Instead, what they got was a nightmare because of a Texas anti-abortion law.

MARLENA STELL, WAS REFUSED MISCARRIAGE TREATMENT: I get so angry that I was treated this way because of laws that were passed by men who have never been pregnant and never will be.

COHEN (VOICE-OVER): Stell's nightmare started out as a dream come true. After months of trying she became pregnant late last summer.

STELL: We were super-excited because we didn't think I could get pregnant.

COHEN (voice-over): An ultrasound at 7 1/2 weeks showed all was well. But at an ultrasound two weeks later --

STELL: She said there is no heartbeat. There is no viable pregnancy. COHEN (voice-over): Stell asked her doctor for standard treatment --

a surgery to remove the fetal remains. She says her doctor refused. That surgery, commonly known as a D&C, is the same procedure used to abort a living fetus.

STELL: She said, well, because of the new law that's passed you're going to have to get another ultrasound for me to be able to even do anything for you.

COHEN (voice-over): Overwhelmed emotionally and physically --

STELL: The pain would get so severe it would be hard to walk.

COHEN (voice-over): -- she went to get a second invasive ultrasound at an imaging center, describing it later in a YouTube video.

STELL: Someone shoves a wand in my sensitive area and tells me hey, you lost your baby again. I shouldn't have to go through that twice.

COHEN (on camera): So you had to hear it twice that you lost a baby?

STELL: It's gut-wrenching. Sorry.

COHEN (on camera): That's OK.

STELL: Because you already know what you're going to see. It's just like seeing it twice and being told that you're not going to be a mom.

COHEN (on camera): Even after that second ultrasound --


COHEN (on camera): -- would your obstetrician give you the surgical procedure?

STELL: No, no.

COHEN (voice-over): Stell had to get yet another ultrasound showing her dead fetus.

COHEN (on camera): So you were walking around carrying a dead fetus?

STELL: And just emotionally carrying it around and just knowing that there's nothing you could do, it just feels very -- it's like I can't grieve or most past is because I'm just walking around carrying it.

COHEN (voice-over): Dr. Lillian Schapiro has been an OB-GYN in Atlanta for more than 30 years.

COHEN (on camera): When a woman is walking around with a dead fetus for weeks because she can't get a surgical procedure, what's the danger to her?


DR. LILLIAN SCHAPIRO, OBSTETRICIAN-GYNECOLOGIST IN ATLANTA: She can develop an infection that can make her sterile and never able to have children again.

COHEN (voice-over): Or even worse --

SCHAPIRO: When the baby dies inside, the baby starts to release parts of its tissue that can get into the mother's blood supply. And it can cause organ failure. It can cause death.

COHEN (voice-over): In Texas and some other states, a doctor who does the right thing and surgically removes a dead fetus could be vulnerable to an expensive lawsuit.

STEPHEN VLADECK, LAW PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS: Any private citizen can walk in the court and say I think Dr. Smith performed an abortion.

COHEN (voice-over): And citizens are incentivized to bring such cases. They can win more than $10,000. And even when doctors can prove the fetus was dead, the doctor still has to be responsible for their own legal fees.

VLADECK: They're going to lose even though they win, and that's the chilling effect. They face this specter of potentially endless, ruinous litigation that they just can't stop. They can't avoid. They can't preempt.

COHEN (voice-over): As I spoke with Stell, I thought back to how between my second and third children I had a miscarriage that was handled very differently.

COHEN (on camera): They saw there was no heartbeat. They did a D&C. It allowed me to move on quickly and get pregnant again. And then I got pregnant again, too.

SCHAPIRO: Right, and that's great. And that is the story that we want to hear from people.

COHEN (voice-over): Stell was not so lucky. She did finally manage to find a doctor to perform her D&C but it took two weeks. She worries the nightmare could happen to her again.

COHEN (on camera): Are you trying to get pregnant again?


COHEN (on camera): Why not?

STELL: I'm worried about getting infected, have something happen to me, and then my daughter's left without her mom.

COHEN (voice-over): Now they are contemplating moving away from Texas -- away from their extended family -- just so they can try to get pregnant again.


COHEN: Marlena Stell pointed out the irony to me, Kaitlan, that a law forcing women to have children they don't want is forcing her to consider not having children she does want -- Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Elizabeth, thank you for that report and also for sharing your own personal experience. I think that's really meaningful.

COHEN: Thanks.

COLLINS: Just head, we'll be joined by the White House economic adviser Brian Deese with how the Biden administration is tackling recent economic setbacks.

BERMAN: And the metaphorical walk 17 years in the making. Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck -- they made it down the aisle. The wedding day details ahead.






BERMAN: So, it actually happened. Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck -- they are now married. The couple wed in Las Vegas over the weekend. We were all there.

COLLINS: (Laughing).

BERMAN: This wedding is 20 years in the making. The pair initially met in 2001 but they broke off an engagement in 2004. They rekindled their relationship last year and now, at last.

Lisa France joins us with the details -- spill. Lisa, can you hear me?


BERMAN: That's too bad. We're dying to know what happened. What happened?

COLLINS: Well, John claims he was there so he doesn't need you to tell him what happened. But can you tell everyone else what happened over the weekend and how this surprise wedding finally came to be?

FRANCE: Absolutely. Well, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck are gambling on love again. They went to a wedding chapel in Las Vegas with some other couples who were also in line. The wedding chapel, according to Jennifer Lopez, was nice enough to stay open just a little bit later so they could tie the knot.

He wore a jacket that he grabbed out of his closet, which is so Ben Affleck. And she wore a dress that she's had for years.

So, 20 years later, they are -- they are back together and they're happy and they're in love. And the pictures and the video are just -- they just look amazing and happy, and I'm happy for them. Everyone just seems to be blown away by how in love they are again.

COLLINS: So, Lisa, I was on this flight yesterday. We didn't have internet for a few brief hours of it and when we got into internet again we saw this. And everyone was kind of surprised by it.

BERMAN: Was Wolf with you?

COLLINS: Wolf was having dinner. I'm not sure if Wolf was surprised by the news.

BERMAN: Because Wolf knew. Is it true that Wolf had advanced knowledge of this?

COLLINS: Wolf actually couldn't make the trip because he was with us in the Middle East with the president.

But, Lisa, some people say they were surprised by their reunion because it was so many years in the making. But you say that you were not surprised by this.

FRANCE: I was not surprised because back in February 2020, I interviewed Ben Affleck for his then-new film "The Way Back." And in the middle of the interview, he just starts talking about Jennifer Lopez and about how amazing she is, and she doesn't get enough credit. And how she's represented for women of color in Hollywood, and how incredibly talented she is.

And I thought uh, yes -- he's still got love for her. I just didn't know how much love he still had for her because,a at the time, she was engaged to Alex Rodriguez. But soon after that engagement ended, she and Ben reunited and here we are. They are now happily wedded and she is now Jennifer Affleck -- Jennifer Lynn Affleck.

COLLINS: Do you still call her JLo or --


FRANCE: Oh, JLa, JLoLa. I'm not even sure what we're going to go with.


FRANCE: I'm just sticking with Bennifer 2.0.

COLLINS: Well, as soon as you find out what the new nickname is we're going to bring you back to tell us.

BERMAN: Also, he -- Ben Affleck grabbed a jacket out of his closet. Just he happened to have a white dinner jacket hanging on the outside of his closet?

COLLINS: You don't?

FRANCE: I mean, John, don't you? Don't you? Doesn't everyone just have --


BERMAN: I should. It's next to my smoking jacket and sometimes it's hard to get to -- but -- beyond the silk robe.

COLLINS: John has one in his office. We're actually going to go commercial break so he can go put it on and come back and join us on set.

FRANCE: Cannot wait to see that. Cannot wait to see that.

BERMAN: Lisa, thank you very much for that.

FRANCE: Thank you.

BERMAN: And yes, Wolf definitely had advanced knowledge of this.

COLLINS: You can't get married and not tell Wolf Blitzer.

BERMAN: This is an amazing story. A woman awakes from a 2-year coma to immediately identify her attacker.

COLLINS: Plus, a gunman who opened fire overnight inside a mall food court before an armed bystander stopped the gunman.


COLLINS: The Senate is gearing up to take action on a bill to pump billions of dollars into American manufacturing and scientific research, but will lawmakers be able to reach a consensus with only a matter of days before they head home for their August recess?


CNN's John Avlon has a reality check. And John, we know how much lawmakers love their recess.

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: We do, but you know what? American competitiveness matters also.

So, bipartisan wins are few and far between in Washington, but a bill to boost America's economic competitiveness with China seemed like a sure thing. After all, it promised to strengthen national security while establishing a forward-looking industrial policy to protect against future supply chain disruptions while boosting American manufacturing and jobs, all while investing in the next generation research and development.

So, just to recap, it's a bill that would make us stronger and safer, and more prosperous. Sounds pretty good, right? No wonder more than 100 CEOs were pushing for it. And the initial version passed the Senate with 68 votes, which almost never happens these days.

But Washington is often the place where good ideas go to die. Because this bill wound its way through the House where extraneous trade and environmental provisions were added. And months later, with the silly season of campaigns just beginning, a conference committee was finally assigned to try to hash out all the differences.

It hasn't exactly proceeded with dramatic efficiency, especially when Senate Republic leader Mitch McConnell threatened to kill the whole thing unless Democrats promised to give up on passing their economic agenda under reconciliation.

This is what Michigan Congresswoman Haley Stevens, who serves on the conference committee, calls "the failing politics of gamesmanship."

And the clock is ticking because after August recess, little of nothing is going to get done until after the election. Adding urgency is the fact that other nations have now pushed through their own laws to attract more semiconductor manufacturing and the U.S. is in danger of falling behind.

Get this. In 1990, America made 37% of the world's computer chips. It's down to just 12% today. And the bulk of manufacturing occurs in Taiwan, which makes threats from China to the island also a major threat to the U.S. and world economy.

So that's why the Biden administration is now urging members of Congress to just pass the bare minimum of the bill, putting a $52 billion investment in domestic computer chip manufacturing. This pared-down version is now known as Chips -- sadly, unrelated to the late '70s California Highway Patrol T.V. show. And a vote, though, could come as early as this week.

Now, look, when it comes to policy we should make the perfect the enemy of the good, but this is pretty thin gruel given the ambitions of the initial bipartisan bill. And after all the oxygen that gets spent on both sides of the aisle, warning about the need to stand up to China, it is ludicrous that a bill that promises to do just that has been hobbled by petty partisan food fights.

The open question is what provisions, if any, will be added to the core computer chip domestic investment? And if Congress really wants to be proactive they'll include critical R&D investments in quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and hypersonic technology. Those should be preserved because they are the technological areas, along with the pursuit of nuclear fusion, that will determine the trajectory of the 21st century.

China's investing big-time. America can't afford to get left behind. And after their talk about China, it's time for Congress to step up, think big, and do its job.

And that's your reality check.

COLLINS: John Avlon, thank you.

BERMAN: Erik Estrada on line B.

AVLON: There you go.

BERMAN: It's "CHIPS." It was the best, like, 1981 show that was out there. Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox as California Highway Patrol officers.

COLLINS: Uh huh.

BERMAN: It was really -- it was really good. And then they left one season and that was highly controversial, but then they came back. It's -- you know, it all ended well.

COLLINS: If you also didn't get that, that's fine. Neither did I. But we won't tell the Johns.

NEW DAY does continue right now.

BERMAN: Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. It is Monday, July 18. I'm John Berman. Brianna is off. Chief White House correspondent Kaitlin Collins is here. Great to have you.

COLLINS: Even if I don't get all the jokes, they still let me sit next to John.

BERMAN: You'll have a full week to study up on "CHIPS."

So, a report by Texas lawmakers investigating the Uvalde school massacre outlines systemic failures and egregious poor decision-making by multiple law enforcement agencies. It describes a, quote, lackadaisical approach by those on the scene of the shooting where 19 children and two teachers were killed.

Nearly 400 officers -- 400 were at the Robb Elementary School that day. The report says they failed to prioritize saving innocent lives over their own safety. They failed to adhere to active shooter training. The police chief failed to assume his responsibility of incident command.

The school, itself, was also cited. The report said a lockdown was delayed by poor Wi-Fi connectivity. There were recurring problems with maintaining locks and doors.


POLICE OFFICER: Shots fired! Get inside! Go! Go! Go!


COLLINS: There's also some upsetting new video -- body camera footage that gives us a close-up view of the action.