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New Day

Obama Returns to White House; Michael Regan is Interviewed about the Jackson Water Crisis; News Anchor Health Episode on Live TV. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired September 07, 2022 - 08:30   ET



ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Political party, the Democratic Party, that still very much loves Barack Obama. I think that he is still viewed as like an uber celebrity to the point where it actually is almost a little bit in contrast to President Biden. I think Obama casts such a long shadow over his party. And for him to return to the White House under a Democratic president, I think, will be a moment, and probably not the kind of moment that there's, a, any precedent for it, or that we might see again for quite some time.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: What about these reports we've read about a little Obama world, Biden world tension? Is everything copacetic there? Will any of that be on display?

PHILLIP: I really - I really don't think that you're going to see any of that today. I mean, these are two men who were -- President Biden and former President Obama, they got big egos. They would not have had those jobs if they didn't. And sometimes their staff, they carry those egos more than the principles do themselves. But that's, I think, a lot of that is in the background. Some of it has to do with, you know, perhaps Biden feeling like there's not enough respect coming from Obama now that he's ascended to the presidency. Biden not getting Obama's endorsement in a Democratic primary.

But this is a different environment. And think about this moment that we're in for Biden. He has just come off of a number of bipartisan wins, a number of major legislative wins. The Inflation Reduction Act. The infrastructure bill. His approval rating is starting to inch up again going into the midterms. I think this is a Biden White House that's feeling pretty good. So, if there is any time that they're going to want to host former President Obama, it's probably this one, when they feel like they are on their best foot.

KEILAR: It goes all the way back to, you know, Obama folks going over to Hillary Clinton's side and sort of, in a way, sealing the fate that Biden was not going to run. There's some of that as well.

Michelle Obama has not been back to the White House, right, since Obama left office. This is going to be sort of big a moment for her to be back.

PHILLIP: Yes. I think so too. And, I mean, talk about political celebrities in the Democratic Party. I mean you could argue that Michelle Obama has - is maybe even - even surpasses her husband in that respect sometimes.

But it's actually very -- I think it's very complicated for her. This is a first lady who probably would not have gone to the Trump White House even if she were invited because of the sort of toxic environment between the Trump family and the Obama family. So, it will be interesting to see how she is coming back now.

I think she is probably happy that it didn't happen under Trump, frankly, because she blamed Trump for endangering her family, for endangering her own personal safety. And that bad blood, I think -- I don't think that that could have been papered over for a ceremonial moment like this. So, of all the moments for her to come back to the White House, I think this will be one of them.

And also, Brianna, I'm curious to see what these portraits look like. I mean they have a history of trying to elevate unconventional artists, different artists in artwork about them. So, we'll see what they actually end up being.

KEILAR: Yes, we saw how much buzz the portraits that are in the National Portrait Gallery got.


KEILAR: So, it's going to be the same, we expect, at this.

PHILLIP: Yes, I think so.

KEILAR: Abby, great to have you. Thank you so much.

PHILLIP: Good to see you, Brianna.

KEILAR: And, of course, you can catch Abby on "INSIDE POLITICS" this Sunday.

New this morning, we're learning a meeting between Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping is in the works.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to be joined by EPA Administrator Michael Regan, who's on the ground in Jackson, Mississippi. The latest on the water crisis there.



KEILAR: The roughly 150,000 residents of Jackson, Mississippi, are waking up for yet another day without clean running water. Officials say water pressure has been restored, but the city remains under a boil water advisory and samples must go through two more rounds of testing to be cleared for safe drinking.

With us now is the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Michael Regan. Administrator, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us

from Jackson this morning.

Tell us what the EPA is doing now in Jackson to monitor and to help remedy the city's water systems.

MICHAEL REGAN, EPA ADMINISTRATOR: Well, thank you for having me this morning.

And, you know, we're in Jackson on the ground to do two things. The first is to continue working with our other federal partners, state and local officials, to ensure that we get this system back up and running as soon as possible. The other reason I'm here in Jackson, again, is to meet with residents, to talk about what they're experiencing, how long they've been experiencing it, and getting their perspective as we design solutions for the future.

Listen, I'm here today to convene a meeting with the governor and the mayor, to ensure that as state, local and federal officials, we're doing everything we can to complement the work that's happening right now around the clock to get this system back up and running.

KEILAR: That boiling of water, before this water pressure issue, before the whole water system failed, residents there had been dealing with that for weeks already. They had become immune to it, in a way. And, clearly, it's no way for a city to be operating under repeated boil water advisories.

How long is it going to be, do you think, until Jackson will not be in that position?

REGAN: You know, we've got folks working around the clock, number one, to help get that pressure back up. Number two, we're here to talk about the midterm and longer-term efforts that we're going to undertake to ensure that the folks in Jackson, the proud people of Jackson, once and for all, don't have to live under a boil water advisory.

Listen, I have a senior member of my staff from Jackson, Mississippi, who grew up on a boil water advisory.


She doesn't want that for the next generation. This is an issue that predates all of us. It's a long-standing issue. And the purpose of President Biden's bipartisan infrastructure law is to help cities like Jackson recover from these incidents and move forward without living under threat of a boil water advisory.

KEILAR: The EPA found the city of Jackson didn't have adequate staffing for its water systems in March. Can you tell us more about that?

REGAN: You know, we've been working with the city of Jackson for some time to help with the staffing issues, to provide technical assistance, to get the city in the shape that it should be. Listen, when I was here over a year ago, I spent some time here in

Jackson meeting with residents, talking with kids at elementary schools who can't continue their education in the schools that they would love to because of low water pressure. We've been working with the state and the city of Jackson for some time and we'll continue to do that. We'll continue to provide technical assistance. We'll continue to encourage the city to apply for the $30 million that is there and available to help the city get the water system back on track. And we'll continue to encourage the governor to make available the federal funds that we will provide to the state to assist Jackson in its endeavors to provide the good people of Jackson good quality drinking water like they deserve.

KEILAR: More than 80 percent of the city of Jackson identifies as black. Flint, Michigan, which also had a huge water crisis, also a majority black city. And we're seeing this pattern time after time. What is being done to ensure that communities of color are not disproportionately impacted by these crises that are going to affect kids and other people for a lifetime?

REGAN: We know that the data tells us that exact story. Black and brown communities are disproportionately impacted in this area and other environmental areas. And, you know, one of the great things about the bipartisan infrastructure laws, 40 percent of those resources, those federal funds that were pushing to the states, must go to disadvantaged communities. It's recognizing that black and brown communities, low-income communities, have borne a disproportionate burden for far too long.

Jackson is no different. And so what we're here to do today is convene state and local officials, talk with residents, and be sure that as these federal funds become available, that they reach the recipients that we intend for them to reach, which are our black and brown communities.

Jackson is a prime candidate for the bipartisan infrastructure law. The federal funds that the president fought so hard for so that, again, everyone in this country, no matter the race, the color of their skin, the zip code they live in, have access to good quality drinking water.

KEILAR: Administrator Michael Regan, we appreciate you being with us. Thank you so much.

REGAN: Thank you for having me.

BERMAN: Just moments ago, as new United Kingdom Prime Minister Liz Truss faced questions from parliament, the former prime minister, Theresa May, posed a question.


THERESA MAY, FORMER PRIME MINISTER: Can I ask my right honorable friend, why does she think it is that all three female prime ministers have been conservative? LIZ TRUSS, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Well, I thank my right honorable

friend for her fantastic question. I look forward to calling on her advice from her time in office as I start, as I start my work, as I start my work as prime minister. It is - it is quite extraordinary, isn't it, that there doesn't seem to be the ability in the Labour Party to find a female leader or indeed a leader who doesn't come from north London. I just -- I don't know what it is. I don't - I don't know -- I don't know what the issue is.


BERMAN: Well, look, that's not something you see in the United States, first of all, because, you know, former - former presidents don't end up back in Congress.


BERMAN: Not since John Quincy Adams. You know, it just doesn't happen. But in the U.K., you're a member of parliament. You go back there. You can ask questions.

That was a little bit of a layup. But, again, something you don't see in the United States.

KEILAR: What I liked was even a -- it seemed in good spirits, right? Even the folks who were kind of being roasted. And you can see who they were, but they were also kind of having a little enjoyment at just the spirit of things.

BERMAN: Yes, you saw Labour Leader Keir Starmer there kind of roll his eyes at all of it.


KEILAR: Uh-huh.

So, the nationwide search continues this morning for this man, known as Fat Leonard, the mastermind of a major Navy bribery scheme.

BERMAN: And a TV anchor in Oklahoma suffering a medical emergency on air.


JULIE CHIN, KJRH NEWS ANCHOR: Tulsa aren't - the Tulsa Air and spance -- Space Museum at the -- at the -- at the event.



BERMAN: "5 Things to Know for Your New Day."

A New Mexico county commissioner, and founder of the group Cowboy for Trump, has been removed from office over his role in the Capitol riot. A judge ruled that Couy Griffin violated a 14th Amendment clause by participating in a, quote, insurrection against the U.S. government.


KEILAR: U.S. Marshals issuing a nationwide be on the lookout alert for the man known as Fat Leonard, the former military contractor who masterminded the biggest corruption scandal in Navy history. He escaped house arrest in San Diego by cutting off his GPS monitoring bracelet just three weeks before his sentencing.

BERMAN: Russia says President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping are set to meet face to face on the sidelines of a summit in Uzbekistan next week. It will be the leader's first meeting since Moscow invaded Ukraine.

KEILAR: New British Prime Minister Liz Truss in parliament tackling tough questions from lawmakers this morning in her first full day on the job. She's facing multiple challenges after inheriting an economically troubled U.K. Her cabinet is the first without a white man in one of the top positions.

BERMAN: Apple is expected to debut its iPhone 14 lineup at its California headquarters today. The rumor mill is that Apple will go big, literally, with a much bigger screen size, but without the higher price tag. Apple will live stream the announcement and CNN Business will carry live coverage as well.

KEILAR: What happens when we get to iPhone, like 49. That's going to happen, right?

BERMAN: Let's hope we're around for it.

KEILAR: I hope so.

Those are "5 Things to Know for Your New Day." More on these stories all day on CNN and And don't forget to download the "5 Things" podcast every morning.

An anchor in Oklahoma suffering the beginnings of a stroke on live TV. The warning signs to watch out for.

BERMAN: And why the White House top doctors say we may need annual Covid vaccine shots. Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us next.



BERMAN: The beginnings of a stroke captured on live TV. Two News Oklahoma anchor Julie Chin suffered a medical emergency on air when she suddenly became confused and stumbled over her words.


JULIE CHIN, KJRH NEWS ANCHOR: Tulsa - our -- the Tulsa Air and spance -- Space Museum at the -- at the -- at the event -- the event features live -- I'm sorry. Something is going on with me this morning and I apologize to everybody. Let's just go ahead and send it on over to meteorologist Annie Brown (ph).


BERMAN: So, after tossing to the weather, the production team called 911. She spent the weekend being tested at the hospital. Doctors believe she experienced the beginnings of a stroke. But, thankfully, not a full stroke.

With us now is chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Sanjay, I watch that and I have to say, that was scary to see that right there. How common is something like that, and how can you avoid it?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's not common, thankfully. It is scary. And it can sometimes be difficult to figure out, you know, just from a neuro perspective. I'm a brain guy. You know, what you're looking for is, in her case, she was having difficulty forming the words with her mouth you could tell. She was having difficulty finding the words as well. And that, obviously, is concerning, and you see it transpire on live television.

We now know that in her case, as you point out, it sounds like it was the beginning of a stroke. There was a similar episode, this has happened in the past as well, back in 2011, you may remember this with Serene Branson.




GUPTA: Again, difficulty finding and forming words there. In Serene's case, back then, it turned out that was a migraine, an ocular migraine that caused those sorts of symptoms. So it can be difficult to sort of parse out sometimes what exactly is happening there.

In Julie Chin's case, she's 47 years old. She did go to the hospital. What we subsequently learned as well is that she had some difficulty with her vision. She actually became numb on the right side of her body as well. And that's why the doctors thought it may be what's called a TIA, transient ischemic attack, or the beginning of a stroke. But it sounds like she is recovering well.

What you mentioned at the end, they called 911 right away. No matter what, no matter what you think is going on here, that is the right decision. That's the right thing to do because time really matters here. And people have oftentimes heard this acronym FAST, but they've actually made it BE FAST now. And people should memorize this. But BE FAST stands for finding if someone has difficulty with Balance, that's the "b," E is eye problems of some sort, face, facial drooping is the F, arms, you put the arms out, see if there's any kind of drifting or weakness of the arms, difficulty speaking, and then call 911. The quicker someone can get to the hospital, certain things can be done to try and mitigate how strong an impact that might have. KEILAR: One of the things you notice there is, she's having a hard

time reading and, yes, forming those words, but then when she goes to just say, like, I don't know what's going on, I'm just going to send it over to the weather person, she speaks fine. So, it's this - maybe - maybe it's a part of the brain or, I don't know, what do you think that was, Sanjay?

GUPTA: I think that she was having a few things. One is that it was - it was the forming of words, but also she had difficulty with her vision. Her vision started to go blurry, so maybe she was reading a teleprompter or something earlier on and then she had a sentence that she knew well when she was tossing, and that came more easily. It can be difficult to figure out.

But with a stroke, several different areas of the brain could be affected at the same time. Given than she had right sided numbness, most likely that was affecting the left side of the brain. Left brain controls right side of the body. And that may have been what was causing her speech difficulties as well. We don't know for certain, but, after testing, the doctors thought at some point there was not enough blood flow getting to that part of the brain and that's now corrected itself.

BERMAN: Look, I'm just glad that she got the help she needed. I'm glad she had people around her who took the care to call 911 during weather to make sure that she was OK right there.


And also it was just so interesting to see, she knew. I mean she could tell something was going on there.

GUPTA: Right.

BERMAN: And I'm just so glad that it worked out the way it did.

Sanjay Gupta, Doc, it's always great to see you. Thank you so very much.

GUPTA: You got it. Thank you. Thank you.

BERMAN: Like I said, sometimes when you see someone doing our job having those issues, it hits really close to home.


BERMAN: CNN's coverage continues right now.