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New Day

Sex After COVID: CDC Says STDs On The Rise Over The Last Year; FDA Warns Parents That Nicotine Gummies Becoming "Health Crisis"; Summers: New Data Shows U.S. Has "Serious Inflation Problem"; Teacher Distributes Books For Kids in "Book Deserts". Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired September 16, 2022 - 08:30   ET




JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Alarming new data from the CDC after dipping during the pandemic, STD cases in the U.S. climb last year reaching almost 2.5 million. CNN Medical Correspondent Dr. Tara Narula joins us now. I was going to ask, how is this happening? I think we know how it's happening. But what do you see here in terms of the trends?

DR. TARA NARULA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John. So not surprising that the numbers went down in 2020. And they are up in 2021, but still not at the level that we saw in 2019. That being said, there was a 4 percent increase in terms of numbers comparing where we are today and where we were five years ago.

When you look at the breakdown of types of STDs, Chlamydia really accounts for most of the cases about two-thirds, syphilis, much less common. But even there, we saw a jump of about 28 percent between 2020 and 2021. Really important, I think to just emphasize how much we need investment in STD clinics and funding for this in terms of who should really be getting screened.

We want to say any individuals who are 13 to 64 should get checked at least once for HIV. Sexually active women less than 25 or over 25 with more risk factors should get screened at least yearly for gonorrhea and chlamydia. And then gay or bisexual men who are sexually active also yearly, at least yearly for gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis and HIV.

BERMAN: All right, the FDA put out a pretty stern warning about nicotine gummies, saying they can easily be mistaken for candy here. What is it that parents need to know?

NARULA: As a parent of two young kids, this is so important because these things can be discreet, easily concealable, and they can look just like candy. In fact, they come in flavors like cherry bomb, and pineapple. And as you mentioned before, you know, the FDA commissioner recently said that this is a public health crisis waiting to happen in our youth.

They actually sent a warning letter to a company that was selling these nicotine gummies illegally. And when you looked at the gummy packs themselves, we're talking about at least in this company, 12 gummies per pack. Each gummy had about 1 milligram of nicotine. When you look at what's toxic to young children, anywhere from 1 to 4 milligrams, so that's one to four gummies can be toxic to young kids.

By toxic, I mean, nausea, vomiting, changes in blood pressure, seizure, coma and even death. Not to mention that nicotine is addictive and also can affect the growing brain in terms of potentially causing learning and memory problems. And it's also important to be aware that we're not just talking about gummies there's also lozenges, patches, gums out there. So parents need to be aware and they need to talk to their kids about this too.

BERMAN: Yes, I was just going to say be on the lookout and have the conversation. Just have the conversation with your kids.

Dr. Tara Narula, great to see you. Thank you so much.

So new overnight, a setback for the Department of Justice in its investigation into the handling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Mortgage rates topping 6 percent for the first time since 2008. Its concerns about inflation continue to plague the nation. Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers joins us next.



KEILAR: Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers warned Democrats about potential inflation from the very start of the Biden administration after another alarming economic reports showing inflation of 8.3 percent. Summers tweeted this confirms that the U.S. has a serious inflation problem.

Joining me now is Larry Summers. Secretary, thank you so much for taking the time to be with us. You don't see this getting better soon. Can you give us sort of your assessment of where we are and where we're going with inflation?

LARRY SUMMERS, FMR. DIRECTOR, WH NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA: Look, Brianna, you're going to see all kinds of fluctuations because gas prices go up, gas prices go down. There's other volatile components of inflation. So we have to do is look at what the underlying more medium term inflation rate is. And that means looking at things like the behavior of wages. That means looking at the median component of inflation, whatever product each month is right in the middle of the distribution and means looking at core inflation, so called core inflation.

And I think those statistics are pointing not towards 8 or 9 percent inflation, but they are pointing towards are having inflation in 5 percent range, which is well above what is acceptable. It's more than the inflation we had when Richard Nixon imposed price controls 50 years ago, and that's just where we are. And it's got to be a central priority for policy, starting with the Federal Reserve. And just as when you eat too much or drink too much, it doesn't define the rest of your life and you can get through it but it's going to be uncomfortable afterwards. I think that that's the kind of situation we face with respect to inflation.


And just as in other kinds of excess, when you've gone to excess, it's better to address it sooner, rather than to address it later and more weakly and tentatively. I think, as Chairman Powell recognized in his last set of remarks, recognize that might say, somewhat belatedly, I think that the Fed has got to act strongly. And policy and other areas has got to be supportive, with respect to doing whatever we can, whether it's getting permits for wind powered plants or whether it's reducing pharmaceutical prices, whether it's making it easier to get natural gas out of the ground, or whether it's reducing some tariffs, so we can get crucial inputs for our production from abroad at lower cost.


SUMMERS: All of us have to be doing whatever we can to minimize inflation.

KEILAR: And Secretary, one of the areas that obviously is really hurting for folks is housing, and we see mortgage interest rates above 6 percent for the first time since 2008. How high do you think that's going to go?

SUMMERS: You know, I think we've certainly seen a substantial part of the increases that are going to come. But it wouldn't surprise me if we see some further increases in more in mortgage rates. That's what happens after a --

KEILAR: Seven, eight?

SUMMERS: That's what happens after a period of excess. I've hesitant to make a numerical forecast but I don't think we're at the peak right now. But I don't think we're going to see massive increases from here.

KEILAR: Are you worried that we can see a housing crash on the horizon?

SUMMERS: I think for a variety of reasons. This is nothing like what happened in 2008 in some parts of the country. But I think housing prices probably are more likely to fall nationwide from their current level than they are to rise. That's the consequence of the fact that the economy at some point will slow. That's a consequence of the higher mortgage rates and the reduced affordability.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure at all that rents are going to fall. And I think rents may keep increasing, in part because given these mortgage rates, people are going to move from buying homes, to renting the places where they live.

KEILAR: Yes, I think that we're starting to see that and that's going to be reality for so many Americans here. Secretary, we appreciate you being with us this morning. Larry Summers, thanks.

SUMMERS: Thank you.

KEILAR: Chrissy Teigen revealing that the miscarriage she said she had two years ago was actually an abortion.

BERMAN: Republican governors blasted for their treatment of migrants arriving to the U.S. So what is the situation at the border? A reality check.



BERMAN: Five things for your New Day. Ukrainian officials say at least 440 unmarked graves have been discovered at a burial site in the newly liberated town of Izium. It comes to the White House has announced a new $600 million security package to bolster Ukraine's ongoing counter-offensive against Russian forces.

KEILAR: A Florida judge has selected Raymond Dearie as special master to review the classified documents former President Trump took from the White House. The judge has also rejected the DOJ's bid to resume its criminal investigation into those documents.

BERMAN: President Biden is set to meet at the White House with the families of Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan. The senior official says there is no movement, sorry, says there is movement, but no breakthrough on efforts to get them out of Russia.

KEILAR: And Chrissy Teigen opening up about the loss of her unborn son two years ago. Speaking during a panel, she said, "Let's just call it what it was. It was an abortion and abortion to save my life for a baby that had absolutely no chance. And to be honest, I never ever put that together until actually a few months ago."

Teigen, who is currently pregnant says the repeal of Roe v. Wade made her realize it was not a miscarriage as she had initially reported.

BERMAN: And the pressure is growing for the Phoenix Suns owner to step down. The team's vice chair has now sent an open letter calling on Robert Sarver to resign. Sarver was fined and suspended for hostile and racially insensitive behavior.

KEILAR: That's five 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.

BERMAN: President Biden tearing into Republican governors for, quote, playing politics with human beings by sending migrants across the country. But what is the President doing to address the nation's border issues? John Avlon has a reality check.

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: For a nation of immigrants, America has a never-ending debate about immigration. But even by our often screwed up historical standards, the past few days has given us a lot to work with.


Again over the weekend, when Vice President Kamala Harris took a lot of heat when she declared our southern border secure. We're also pointing out that we have a broken immigration system.

All right, let's put some facts first here. It is true that we are on a pace to see an unprecedented 2 million people try to cross the southern border illegally by the end of this fiscal year. And, obviously, that's not confirmation of a secure border, not by a longshot. But it's also not remotely the sign of an open border, because those are actually the number of folks who've been caught.

That's right. Increased attempts to enter the U.S. illegally are being met with increased apprehension. So when say the RNC tweets about apprehended illegal immigrants with the hashtag BidenBorderCrisis, that number is actually a reflection of the Customs and Border Protection officers doing their job well, under difficult circumstances.

Now, the number is also being boosted by repeat offenders ironically, in part as a result of the Trump era policy notice Title 42, which allows for immediate deportation rather than arrest. Now take a step back, and you'll see we've had spikes in border apprehensions before particularly the 1980s and 1990s, before falling off through much of the 2000s and 2010s.

But one big thing has changed since 2020. These migrants are increasingly coming from countries much farther than Mexico and its neighbors, countries like Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, fleeing political persecution and economic chaos. And if a person is seeking asylum from certain nations, they can remain in the country after being apprehended, while their cases heard by a judge.

Which brings us to this case and the pandemic air influx of migrants particularly to Texas. This isn't something that should get passed off as someone else's problem. It's a national problem, and it needs national solutions. And I understand why some conservatives feel frustrated and what they see is liberal hypocrisy from folks who want more lenient policies but don't live all that close to the border.

Still, when owning the libs becomes the overriding impulse for Republicans who might run a run for president, you end up with a cruel mess. And that's what happened when Florida Governor Ron DeSantis allowed Texas Governor Greg Abbott's busing and migrants up to New York by chartering two flights on the taxpayers' dime from San Antonio to Martha's Vineyard.

Now, this proved to be a troll tastic way to get attention and praise from the conservative base. But even with its ugly, but presumably unintentional echoes of reverse Freedom Riders schemes from White Citizens Councils during the Civil Rights era, as pointed out by timely tweet from the JFK Library.

But here's the thing. This may not be the political when DeSantis thinks it is. Because many of the folks being treated as political pawns in this game have moved the migrants are asylum seekers. Most are from Venezuela, part of that huge wave of folks seeking freedom from the authoritarian Maduro regime.

Now this has long been a righteous cause for many conservatives who slammed the kleptocratic socialism that has crippled that once prosperous nation. But from 20 -- 2000 to 2019, Venezuelans were the fastest growing part of the Hispanic community in the United States and most live in Florida. They might not take kindly to this treatment of their fellow countrymen, especially in an election year. That's not all.

Some analysts have suggested that depending on what the migrants were told, transporting them might run afoul of smuggling laws even violate the local Florida law that gave DeSantis the taxpayer cash to move migrants out of the Sunshine State, but didn't say anything about flying them out of Texas. We'll see.

Here's what we do know, America still hasn't gotten serious about fixing our broken immigration system. Too many politicians would rather demagogue the issue than deal with it. But when it comes to the respectful treatment of refugees, well, that shouldn't be an area where we can unite as a nation.

Reading Politico who says they believe America is a beacon of freedom. Well, refugees are the ones who are seeking out that light. Because the heart and soul of our country comes from people fleeing political persecution and seeking to build a better life. And the day we forget that, in favor of fixating on political food fights is the day that we start to forget what really makes America great. And that's your reality check.

BERMAN: Thank you so much for that, John Avlon.

Former President Trump warning of, quote, big problems if he is indicted over his handling of classified documents after leaving office. The latest turn in the investigation ahead.



KEILAR: As teachers return to school, a majority have to spend their own money on supplies for their classrooms. This week, CNN Hero is a high school English teacher in New Jersey who sprang into action when he realized kids didn't have easy access to books and teachers were struggling to provide them. Meet Larry Abrams.


LARRY ABRAMS, CNN HEROES: So many of us have heard about food deserts. But there are also these things called book deserts, areas where people just don't have access to books. There are pockets of poverty where they don't have them in their homes. There are no libraries.

In the great forest, a little elephant is born. His name is Babar. The most important tool that they get are words. And there are some kids who grow up hearing lots and lots of words because they're read to every single night. Kids living in book deserts don't have that. And so, reading in books helps level that playing field.

Very good stuff. This was a great haul.

Giving kids books almost ensures academic success. What we do is irrigate book deserts by pouring hundreds of thousands of books in.

First grades, you'll probably want the picture books?


ABRAMS: Teachers are the best distributors of books that we have. We are improving lives one book at a time.


KEILAR: It's wonderful. And to learn more, go to .

BERMAN: And I love the Babar reference in there, which of course, is two Bs, B-A-B-A-R, just not right next to each other.

KEILAR: That's right.

BERMAN: Which is a flush reference for anyone out there.

KEILAR: CNN's coverage continues right now.