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CNN NEWSROOM

No Vote on Superstorm Sandy Aid; Fired for Refusing Flu Shots; ESPN Anchor Hurt in Grill Explosion; Tips for Losing Weight, Gaining Muscle Tone; Superstorm Sandy Bill Pits Republican Against Republican; Residents Insulted By Holdup on Superstorm Sandy Bill.

Aired January 2, 2013 - 13:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: House members wrapping up the 112th Congress. Some very much on an angry note. Lawmakers on both sides today are slamming House Republican leaders for failing to vote on a bill that would have provided billions of dollars in aid to victims of Superstorm Sandy. Lisa Desjardins, she's on Capitol Hill.

Lisa, first of all, I just want to play for our viewers what some of the Republicans are saying this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. FRANK LOBIONDO (R), NEW JERSEY: When Katrina hit, 10 days later, $60 billion, $10 billion altogether. Now we have to hear from people in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas, and Alabama and, yes, some people from California and the Midwest, when they have a disaster, and we were there for them, that the rules are going to change for us and it is now not an emergency and the federal government doesn't have a role in this? Absurd! Absolute absurd! We demand nothing less than we have given the rest of the country. An emergency and disaster means emergency and disaster.

REP. PETER KING, (R), NEW YORK: Nobody wants a special favor. Nobody is looking for any earmark or gift or anything else. When your people are literally freezing in the winter and they're without food and shelter and they're without clothing, and my own party refuses to help them, then why should I help the Republican Party? I will stand on the values and principles that I believe are true Republican principles, but turning your back on people who are starving and freezing is not a Republican value.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Wow. Peter King really angry about his own party.

So what's the fallout here? You were saying the last hour Speaker Boehner is going to try to talk some folks?

LISA DESJARDINS, CNN RADIO CAPITOL HILL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and Peter King is one of the most important people he'll talk to. That meeting we expect, Suzanne, in about two hours from now at 3:00 here eastern. Our producer, Deidra Walsh (ph) reports, from Republican aides, that the speaker will sit down with the New York and New Jersey delegations. I imagine he'll get an earful, and I imagine he will see the clips from in morning. We're interested what he will tell the delegation, what he'll say about why he decided not to hold the vote last night and also when he thinks a vote could come up.

Suzanne, all we know right now is the speaker through one of his spokesman has said this would be his first priority in the next Congress. But, Suzanne, there's a big he asterisk there. The House is not planning to meet for days right now during January. And Peter King, as he told us on CNN, is worried that the soonest this package could come up or be finalized in the House is not until February. We don't know and we're waiting to see what the speaker says after and at this 3:00 meeting.

MALVEAUX: Lisa, did he give any sense, any explanation as to why they didn't hold the vote? Is it because there was so much attention paid to averting the fiscal cliff? Is that one possibility?

DESJARDINS: We don't have an official explanation. There is a lot of conjecture that the fiscal cliff deal got in the way, that there was a spending bill that Republicans didn't like that was hard for them to swallow, and that following it up with the Hurricane Sandy bill, which was $60 billion in unpaid-for spending, politically would have been uncomfortable to say the least and that Republicans may not have been happy with that situation. But we don't know the reasoning. Certainly, we know Republicans don't like spending that isn't paid for. And there it was. We had two big bills right in a row.

MALVEAUX: Finally, the president released a statement urging them to vote on this today. Do we have any sense that that is something that is possible or likely, that the statement, "When tragedy strikes America comes together to support those in need. I urge Republicans in the House of Representatives to do the same, bring this important request to a vote today and pass it without delay for our fellow Americans." Possible that could happen?

DESJARDINS: No, it won't happen. The House is adjourned until 11:00 tomorrow, and, even then, we don't know this House will come back. New Congress starts at noon tomorrow. Susanne, they're already wheeling out some of the Christmas tree, so not a cheerful holiday at the capitol.

MALVEAUX: Wow.

Lisa, thank you very much. Please give us an update from that meeting as it happens.

Coming up in 30 minutes, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is holding a news conference on this very issue, Superstorm Sandy, the recovery efforts and, of course, the controversy over whether or not they're going to get government aid and just how quickly.

A flu shot can help avoid you getting sick, right? Not everybody wants it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just feel like it's a toxin that I don't want in my body. There are side effects with that. There are no guarantees that it's going to protect you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: So now refusing to get a flu shot cost that woman and seven others their jobs.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: Get a flu shot or get fired -- that is a choice a group of hospital workers in Indiana actually face. Six of them refused, and they got the ax. Two other workers quit in objection to this rule.

We want to bring in Elizabeth Cohen to talk about this.

The rules are different, right, for those who are in hospitals, those who are in hospices, providing care for sick? How does this work?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. The way it works is hospitals will say, you need to get a flu shot, because you could give the flu to one of your patients. If you or I got the flu, it's not a big. We're sick. We're out of work for a little while. It's not a big deal. However, when someone is who is in the hospital or in hospice gets the flu, that can be really serious. An average of 36,000 people a year die from the flu and many of them hospital patients. The hospital is saying, look, you can have your personal belief about a flu shot, but if you want to work here, you can't get our patients sick, you have to get a shot.

MALVEAUX: Is there any alternative? She didn't want to get the flu shot. She felt very strongly about it for whatever her personal beliefs were. Could she have done something different, short of the flu vaccine, and still keep her job and say, I'm protecting myself and the patients who I deal with?

COHEN: Not really. You could wear a mask, but a mask isn't going to work as well as a vaccine. Masks are hard to wear all the time. Imagine wearing a mask all the time eight hours a day. What do people do? They're uncomfortable and take them off. So they don't work nearly as well. The hospital says we're doing it for the safety of your patients. You can have your personal beliefs t you can't work here.

MALVEAUX: Is this something that most people that go into the profession already know? They realize this is required on a health care worker and these are things I have to do?

COHEN: Yes. This shouldn't be a big shock to people. Around eight years ago, hospitals started saying, wait a second, we have very few vaccinated. A big chunk of our workface is not vaccinated. We need people vaccinated. If you look at 2002, 38 percent were vaccinated. That number went up to 67 percent in 2011. If you went into nursing 30 years ago, you didn't anticipate this. But that's what happens. As science evolves and things change, requirements change. MALVEAUX: I want to talk about another subject because everybody is talking about it. Hannah Storm, the sportscaster, the fire that explodes from the girl. What happened in that situation to her? A lot of people think is this uncommon to be in that kind of situation where it's dangerous and you don't realize the gas is on and you've got this explosion.

COHEN: Right. So you have the gas on, and you think it's lit. What happened in this situation was she came back and it wasn't lit. She went to relight it and all of this propane had been gathering during that time. Propane is heavy, and it was just sitting there. Of course, you can't see it, but she was not lighting just a small amount of gas at that point. She was unknowingly lighting a large amount of gas and that's why she had an explosion. When you light a propane grill and if it goes out or it doesn't work, you can't just relight it immediately because you've got much more gas in front of you.

MALVEAUX: We're looking at some of the pictures of the injuries, the burns to her face. And she said her blouse was on fire and she had to rip off her shirt but her hand and face. How is her recovery going? She's back on air. And it looks remarkable that that was three weeks ago.

COHEN: She had first and second-degree burns and she was treated in a facility that specializes in this. That really helped. So she got immediate care. She yelled out to her 15-year-old daughter mommy is on fire, call 911. They did the right thing. They got her great care very quickly. That's important. They're going to watch out for infection and for dehydration. When you're burned -- it's a big chunk of her body -- you can become dehydrated easily. Fluids and infection control are important.

So, three weeks, she's done great. To be back to work after just three week, it's terrific.

I think it's great she has released those pictures and shown people what can happen. You're dealing with an incendiary device, right? You need to be careful. You need to know what you're doing.

MALVEAUX: It really is a public service for her to put that out there and warn people.

Thank you very much, Elizabeth. Really appreciate it.

COHEN: Thanks.

MALVEAUX: For more on all of it, go to CNN.com/empoweredpatient.

And it's a New Year and top two resolutions, getting your finances in order and getting your body back in shape. How you can shape up one day at a time. We have got that next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: Losing weight and getting in shape, it's one of those common New Year's resolutions. How do we actually keep the commitment to a healthier lifestyle after the novelty wears off?

Joining me from L.A., personal training, fitness expert, Jerry Anderson.

I know you have some guns there.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

MALVEAUX: You have a seven-day solution.

JERRY ANDERSON, PERSONAL TRAINER & FITNESS EXPERT: I'm trying. Oh, definitely, I have a search-day solution to your New Year's resolution which is fantastic. A lot of people start their programs, and they don't know where they're going and abandon them in 20 days. We have the seven day solution for your New Year's resolution. Let's jump right on in.

MALVEAUX: All right. What about Monday. What are we doing Monday?

ANDERSON: No meat on Monday for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You save 300 to 500 calories, a 20 pound weight loss for the year, if you do that just on Mondays. Go meatless Monday. It's fantastic. It will get you into a healthy mindset.

MALVEAUX: Sets up for Tuesday. What about Tuesday?

ANDERSON: Toning Tuesday. Tone up on Tuesday. Get some weights and do some curls.

(CROSSTALK)

ANDERSON: And do some shoulder presses and right at home. Don't even leave the house. Grab your weights and work out. Tone up on Tuesday and take a shower and go to work.

MALVEAUX: I saw it was a water bottle. You don't have to have weights. It can be anything in the house.

That brings us to Wednesday. What are you doing on Wednesday? Today is Wednesday.

ANDERSON: Wednesday focus to walk. Walk around your neighborhood, your house, walk at work. Get a buddy and walk. Start out walking 10 minutes and go to 20 to 30 minutes. Walk on Wednesday. This will burn a lot of calories. If you burn 200 calories a day, bam, that's a 20-pound weight loss. There is it is. You got your goal met. Walk on Wednesday.

MALVEAUX: Thursday, what do we set up for Thursday?

ANDERSON: This is a biggy. Let's go thighs on Thursday. Yes, we want to work those thighs on Thursday. We want to stimulate the metabolism. We want you to do some squats, then do some front squats and go into the lunge. That's the three-part equation. Go right into that. That turns your body into a fat-burning machine. You'll be sizzling like fajitas. That is a quick burner. Unbelievable.

MALVEAUX: Those are big muscles to work out. You're absolutely right.

Take us into Friday.

(LAUGHTER)

ANDERSON: Definitely. Fiber Friday, jump into the fiber. Don't even worry about no fried chicken on Friday. Go with fiber on Friday.

(LAUGHTER)

Most Americans only consume 15 grams of fiber a day. I want you to get your fiber up to 35 grams of fiber. Start the day with oatmeal and whole wheat cereal and fruit and vegetables and grains, and build up. Then have some air-popped popcorn and put some water in it because you've got to keep that fiber moving. Fiber on Friday. Very important.

MALVEAUX: Jerry, you're killing me on Fridays. I love my fried chicken.

But that brings us to Saturday. What are you doing on Saturday?

ANDERSON: I knew I would get you on Friday with the fiber on Friday.

MALVEAUX: Absolutely.

ANDERSON: Saturday we want a superset on as Saturday. Super set Saturday will kick your body into a fat-burning mode. Do four exercises at once. Do shoulder presses, curls, bend over rolls, squats, take a deep breath, five, four, three, two, one, and back on it. Keep your body burning fat like crazy, unbelievable, and don't let up. Because this is your solution to your New Year's resolution.

MALVEAUX: And you're finally burned out. What do you do on Sunday?

ANDERSON: Burned out, no. You're excited. You're going to relax a little bit.

(LAUGHTER)

You're not burned out. I want you to -- on Sabbath Sunday, relax and go to church, yes. Here's the big thing. A lot of people don't reach their goal because they don't have the right mindset. And the Bible says let this mind in Christ be in you. Change your mindset. You can do all things through Christ, so make your mindset up and do it. Don't just chill out but rebuild your spirit to make sure you achieve your goals. That's why meatless Monday is awesome.

MALVEAUX: I like your calendar. I'll try it for a week and I'll get back to you and let you know how it goes. Is that fair enough?

ANDERSON: Most definitely. Follow it now, and check back with me.

(LAUGHTER)

I want to make sure on fiber Friday, I don't want to see you eating no fried chicken on Friday.

MALVEAUX: I will try to give it up. It's a tough thing to do, but I will try, Jerry. We'll get back to you on this.

(CROSSTALK)

MALVEAUX: OK.

ANDERSON: Remember, you reap what you eat.

(LAUGHTER)

MALVEAUX: All right. Good lesson. Good message. We'll see if we can hold this for a week or so.

Thank you very much, Jerry.

There is a battle brewing on Capitol Hill. We're following it. It's not about the fiscal cliff anymore. It's actually about funding for the victims of Superstorm Sandy. It is turning Republican against Republican.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: I spoke to Governor Christie. I spoke to Governor Cuomo. We've been in constant contact with Mayor Bloomberg. We can't believe that this cruel knife in the back was delivered to our region.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: Superstorm Sandy killed 113 people, left millions without power, devastated parts of New York and New Jersey. The Senate passed a $60 billion relief package to provide long-term aid for infrastructure repairs. Well, the House was expected to vote on the bill yesterday, right? But fiscal cliff discussions took up most of the day. The storm relief was never even brought to a vote. The bill will not be voted on until after the new Congress is sworn in tomorrow.

The House's failure to take up the bill is drawing loud protest from New York Congressman Peter King. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: What was most galling about this is that within 10 days of Katrina, we gladly voted $60 billion and went over $100 billion ultimately. It is now nine weeks since Sandy struck Long Island -- New York, New Jersey, and we have not gotten a penny from the United States Congress. And we played by the rules.

And last night the speaker of the House of Representatives walked off the floor, didn't even give us the courtesy of a notice. He told an aid to the majority leader who told us -- we ended up telling the majority leader, I believe. So there's some dysfunction in the Republican leadership. The speaker, for some reason, is taking it out on New York and Long Island and New Jersey. It is a disgrace.

I was tracing the speaker all over the House floor, trying to talk to him and his staff, and he kept tell me, wait until the vote is over, wait until the fiscal cliff vote is over, everything will be taken care of. And then he was gone. He wouldn't -- he refused to meet with us. He actually yelled at Congressman LoBiondo, I'm not meeting with you people. So he wouldn't tell us why. He decided to sneak off in the dark of night.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: And we have learned that Republican Peter King and some others will be meeting with Speaker Boehner this afternoon as they sort all of that out. And we'll see if there is more of an explanation coming from the speaker and his office.

We're also going to hear from one man who lost his home during Superstorm Sandy as we wait for the New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. He's also going to be reacting to the fact that this bill did not come up on the House floor. And his area very, very hard hit by that storm. He'll be speaking live in just a few minutes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: House of Representatives could have voted on a $60 billion aid bill for the victims of Hurricane Sandy, but members adjourned before taking up the package, which had already actually passed in the Senate. So now the bill is in limbo, at least until noon tomorrow. That is when a new Congress convenes.

And Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, today is chastising the Republican-controlled House for putting off the vote, even if it is just for a few days. Here is what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. HARRY REID, (D-NV), SENATOR MAJORITY LEADER: There are tens of thousands of people, tens of thousands of people in New York, tens of thousands of people in New Jersey and other parts of the northeast, who have had their lives turned upside down. Now, I am dismayed and really saddened that the House of Representatives walked away last night, didn't even touch this after we spent so much time here on the floor doing something to help the beleaguered part of our country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: Also today, the governors of New York and New Jersey issued a joint statement about the Sandy bill. It reads, in part, "This continued inaction and indifference by the House of Representatives is inexcusable. When American citizens are in need, we come to their aid. The people of our states can no longer afford to wait while politicians in Washington play games." And we have also learned that President Obama has now reached out directly to Governor Christie of New Jersey on the issue. We're also going to hear from the governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, moments away now.

But I want to bring in Ray Marten. He lost his home in the Rockaways neighborhood in New York because of Hurricane Sandy. And, Ray joins us on the phone.

Ray, I assume watching some of the developments here, when you heard that Congress decided not to vote on this, what was your feeling about that?

RAY MARTEN, VICTIM OF HURRICANE SANDY (ph): Well, the initial feeling, of course, is anger. It is unconscionable that a Sandy relief bill hasn't passed. It has been two months since the storm hit. It devastated any coastal community in the tri-state area of New York. If you travel just out of those areas, it is business as usual. It seems to be the case in Washington, d. c., as well, too, business as usual. Life is anything but as usual in our town, in our coastal community. The destruction is evident wherever you go. There is debris everywhere. The beach erosion is unbelievable. The houses that were right up against the coast basically have been destroyed. No train service into our particular area in the Rockaways. The fact that this much time has passed and Congress has not acted on a bill, it is mind boggling.

MALVEAUX: And, Ray, I want our viewers to know we have been looking at pictures of your neighborhood. We also looked at pictures of the destruction of your home and your community there. People really trying to get their lives back together. What is it like for you now? How are you living? Are you living in -- have you moved? Are you in temporary housing? What is it like for you?

MARTEN: Well, I was lucky enough to have a place to go. My mother lived just 15 minutes away from me. I have four young kids. So we were able to go stay with her. But it was cramped quarters. There were seven of us staying in a small three-bed-room house, but I was very lucky. Many of my neighbors, not just the ones with their houses destroyed by fire, but many had flooding up past their basements and first floors. My community was displaced. Thousands of families were displaced.

I'm lucky enough that I had a place to go right away and that afforded me to get some temporary housing. I've moved back down to my community into a house that can accommodate my family. But there are many people that are still living in relatives' basements, with family and friends in other states. Wherever they can land, they have.

(CROSSTALK)

MALVEAUX: Ray, if you could, we're running out of time here. We only have about 30 seconds. If you had something to tell the lawmakers in Washington, in terms of what you need, what would you say?

MARTEN: I say get it done now. Forget about the port that has to be added on to a bill like this. Pass a relief bill right away. If it doesn't happen, communities like mine are going to be suffering much longer than they need to.

MALVEAUX: Ray Marten, Rockaways, thank you very much for taking the time to tell us what life has been like for you.

Obviously, still very much struggling in that community there and folks who really need some assistance. So they're bringing their message to Washington.

We'll have more of CNN NEWSROOM with Don Lemon.