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Rep. King Responds to Criticism; Alleged Medicare Fraud; Jackson's Ex-Wife Testifies; Exhausted America; Paralyzed Stevie Beale Walks Down the Aisle

Aired August 15, 2013 - 08:30   ET


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: I want to ask you one more quick question, because this is a very big issue coming from a very big name in your own party. Marco Rubio made very -- had a very sharp message and it seemed to be targeted to House Republicans that you may not like it.

You may not like all of it, but when it comes to immigration reform, if you don't get on board with something then President Obama is going to take this out of your hands and is going to go alone on this through executive orders, through executive actions.

What do you say, what do you want to say to Marco Rubio?

REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: Well, first, Marco Rubio is a friend. I personally like him and if I speak in disagreement, I will speak toward the Gang of Eight rather than Marco Rubio. And that's one of deference and respect and appreciation for him.

I think the point he makes is one we should be concerned about, about the president going outside the Constitution and violating the Constitution and his oath of office to essentially --


BOLDUAN: But he's saying it to try to get you to do something on immigration.

KING: I think it gets me to do this, speak up for the Constitution and remind our leadership -- and I would remind them, I think Marco Rubio would agree with me, that the president has violated the Constitution multiple times on multiple topics and the House of Representatives should be standing up against that instead of moving on and sometimes ratifying the president's unconstitutional whim.

And I'm happy to do a program on that someday, Kate. But I don't think America is focused nearly enough on what this president has been doing with his unilateral actions that go into Article I, the legislative arena.

BOLDUAN: All right. Well, clearly, much more to discuss on this. Unfortunately we have to leave it here this morning.

Congressman Steve King, thank you so much for waking up and joining me this morning and talking through some of these issues. Have a good one. KING: Thanks for the conversation, Kate, I appreciate it.

BOLDUAN: Of course.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Kate, good stuff.

Coming up on NEW DAY, a shocking allegation: the doctor accused of falsely diagnosing patients with cancer. Prosecutors say he had only one thing in mind. We'll tell you when we come back.




CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Hopefully your Thursday starting off the right way. It's August 15th. I'm Chris Cuomo.

BOLDUAN: Of course it's starting off right, it's Thursday. I'm Kate Bolduan. Thanks for joining us, everyone.

Let's get straight to Michaela for the five things to know for your NEW DAY.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN HOST: All right, Kate, thanks so much.

At number one, at least 525 people have been killed in the Egyptian government's bloody crackdown on protesters. In less than three hours' time, Secretary of State John Kerry expected to address the unfolding crisis.

Unsealed police warrants reveal James DiMaggio tortured Hannah Anderson's mother and brother before killing them and kidnapping her. A preliminary autopsy shows DiMaggio was shot five times by FBI agents during Hannah's rescue.

A report coming out today claiming that dozens of nuclear reactors across the nation could be vulnerable to a terrorist attack. Such an attack could trigger a meltdown or even help terrorists gain access to bomb grade uranium.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie a rising star in the GOP and often mentioned as a future presidential candidate addresses the Republican National Committee's summer meeting in Boston.

And at number five, Chris Brown is ordered to attend a court hearing in Los Angeles. A judge could order him to jail to serve part of the original five-year sentence imposed for that attack on Rihanna.

We are always updating those five things to know. So be sure to visit for the very latest.

Guys? CUOMO: All right, thanks, Mic.

Now to this shocking story we have been teeing up for you this morning about a Michigan cancer doctor. Police say he lied to patients, falsely diagnosing them with cancer all in an alleged scheme to bilk the government out of millions in false Medicare claims. Now his stunned patients are stepping forward, demanding to know how he could have done this.

CNN's Pamela Brown has the story.

Hey, Pam.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, there. Really hard to believe, isn't it?

You know, this is really any patient's worst nightmare. Imagine a doctor falsely diagnosing you or your loved on with cancer and then administering chemotherapy for no reason.

Well, those are the allegations against a Michigan doctor now being held behind bars on $9 million bond.


BROWN (voice-over): Twenty-five-year-old Dustin Kaley recently dropped out of college after being diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer.

DUSTIN KALEY, CANCER PATIENT: I have never been so tired. You just -- -- just exhausted.

BROWN (voice-over): He was referred to Dr. Fareed Fata (ph), a Michigan cancer specialist who began administrating aggressive treatments to Kaley.

KALEY: And to me, it seems it was a lot. And it was hard to go through, but when your doctor tells you that is what is going to cure your cancer, you don't argue.

BROWN (voice-over): Kaley joined scores of other patients who were shocked to learn Dr. Fata (ph) was arrested last week on charges of not only falsely telling patients they had cancer but also giving them unnecessary chemotherapy treatments.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's very upsetting, because I really liked him.

BROWN (voice-over): Fata's (ph) motive, pure greed, according to federal prosecutors. Fata (ph) allegedly misdiagnosed his patients so that he could submit false Medicare claims, stealing $35 million over a 2-year period according to this federal complaint.

Authorities also say he went as far as administering chemotherapy to dying patients who would not even benefit from the treatment so he could rake in more money. But his attorney says the criminal complaint does not identify any patients who claim they were mistreated and his client has proclaimed his innocence. Several patients are also coming to his defense.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't believe a word of it. I have total faith.

BROWN (voice-over): Still more than 700 of Fata's (ph) former patients are weighing in on this Facebook page, sharing the physical and emotional pain they've endured, with one patient saying, "What a monster if this all proves to be true."


BROWN: FBI agents raided Fata's (ph) lavish home and medical offices, seizing $7 million in assets and placing liens of $2 million against him.

And with Dr. Fata (ph) behind bars now on $9 million bond, as we said, most of his patients are in limbo, trying to find a new oncologist. And for some the search is now just beginning, because they're just having their medical files returned to them from the FBI. So you can imagine how difficult this must be for them.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. All right, Pamela, thanks for bringing us the story.

BROWN: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Thank you so much.

All right. To a very different story now, Michael Jackson's ex-wife is back on the stand today.

Debbie Rowe gave emotional testimony Wednesday in the wrongful death suit against the singer's tour promoter, choking back tears as she described competing doctors forcing what she said were dangerous and unnecessary drugs on the pop icon.

CNN's Ted Rowlands is in Los Angeles with much more on this story.

Good morning, Ted.


Debbie Rowe met Michael Jackson before he had any issues with drug abuse, then she had a front row seat as he spiraled out of control.


ROWLANDS (voice-over): It was a media frenzy outside this Los Angeles courthouse after Michael Jackson's ex-wife, Debbie Rowe, testified in the wrongful death trial against concert promoter AEG.

Rowe fought back tears giving jurors a riveting account of the pop star's fear of pain and reliance on doctors. She described how doctors competed with each other, treating Jackson for pain after his hair caught on fire during the making of this 1984 Pepsi commercial. Rowe testified, quote, "These idiots were going back and forth," prescribing Jackson with pain medications. "The doctors took advantage of him," she said.

They also, according to Rowe, introduced Michael Jackson to Propofol, the drug that would eventually kill him.

Rowe, who worked for one of the doctors, Dr. Arnie Klein (ph), said at first they used Propofol during cosmetic procedures, but she said things changed during this 1997 "History" tour stop in Munich, Germany, where she says she watched as Jackson was given Propofol in a hotel room.

She said, it, quote, "looked like a surgical suite" as two anesthesiologists hired by Jackson's U.S. doctors put Jackson to sleep.

THOMAS MESEREAU (PH), DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The defense is claiming that he was addicted to prescription medications because they want to show two things. They want to say he was responsible for his own demise and, number two, if they're held liable, they want to keep the damages low.

ROWLANDS (voice-over): Rowe is the mother of Jackson's two oldest children, Prince and Paris. She gave up custody of them and didn't see them for years, but says now they have reconnected and have an ongoing relationship.

The Jackson children, along with Jackson's mother, Katherine, are suing AEG Live for more than a billion dollars, saying the concert promoters contributed to Michael Jackson's death.



ROWLANDS: And Debbie Rowe spent about four hours on the stand yesterday. The drama will continue when she is back on the stand when court resumes later this morning.

Chris? Kate?

BOLDUAN: All right, Ted, thanks so much for the update.

CUOMO: All right, about 45 minutes past the hour. We're going to take a break here on NEW DAY.

Hey, this is -- you're going to want to listen to this one.

BOLDUAN: I'm sorry, I was sleeping. What?

CUOMO: About 40 -- that's right. Why 40 million Americans are suffering from chronic sleep disorders, an unhealthy statistic to be sure. Sleeping pills, more and more people are using them. Could it make you less healthy? Dr. Sanjay Gupta is going to join us and give the answer. (MUSIC PLAYING)


PEREIRA: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

Here is a question: did you get a good night's sleep last night? Chances are you did not. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 40 million American adults suffer from chronic sleep disorders; 62 percent of us are dealing with sleep issues at least a few nights a week.

Chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is here and the concern, Dr. Sanjay -- it's good to have you here this morning so bright and early --


PEREIRA: -- and so well slept -- is that so many people, millions upon millions of people are turning to the sleep aids to prescription drugs to help them get a night's sleep.

GUPTA: About 60 million prescriptions were written last year. So I mean this is a huge issue.


GUPTA: And you know it's funny because I probably don't get enough sleep but then I get to hang out with you guys and I'm hanging out with a group of people who probably get even less sleep than I do. But just walking around the building this morning, everyone is like I want to hear about this sleep segment.


BOLDUAN: Everyone cares though.

GUPTA: It's concerning. And if you look sort of at the qualities of a good night's sleep or getting a sleep aid if you need it, is that you want to be able to go to sleep you want to be able to stay asleep.

But the thing that hasn't been looked at as carefully is how safely you wake up. When you wake up, how groggy are you, how functional are you the next day? And that's where the FDA is now focusing some of their attention. So they certainly make some moves saying you know we used to look at specific criteria but now we actually want to test to see how well people function.

As a result of that, you're starting to see some more activity. They are denying you know certain drugs coming to market they are looking at old drugs like Benadryl and saying they have a long half life. So be careful when you take these drugs. And even things like Ambien, for example they say for women in particular, cut the dose in half because it can affect women and men differently.

So, this is a different sort of attitude and stance of the FDA.

BOLDUAN: Now, every -- you know there are a lot of sleep aids out there and are there some that cause, I guess we can call it a hangover, if you will. Or cause a longer or worse hangover than others?

GUPTA: Absolutely. And you know what -- what people have looked at something known as half life. So something as a half life of two hours and --

PEREIRA: Meaning how long it stays in the body.

GUPTA: Yes so at two hours it's going to go to half the dose in the body and then two hours after that another half of the dose. You get the idea. Something like Ambien for example may have a half life of around two hours. So you know by eight hours, it should have -- essentially be cleared out of the system but let's say you only get six hours of sleep and the first two hours you're probably are still are going to be very groggy and get into a car and drive, that could be a problem.

CUOMO: So what's the guidance? You know if you are going to be taking this medicine, what kind of math do you need to do?

GUPTA: Well you know first of all the idea was you sort of see how impaired you are yourself before you do anything. You know you get into a car or something like that. That doesn't seem to work. So the guidance, I think --


GUPTA: -- is much more probably on the drug manufacturers and the FDA about saying look we've got to be careful in terms of actually allowing people to take these drugs and then be able to do something like operate heavy machinery. We know about five percent of drivers on the road on any given morning are actually under the influence of sleeping aids.

So you know I think the guidance for a lot of people, is you know don't take these pills unless you need them.


GUPTA: Also recognize that you shouldn't take these things long term. I mean these are really designed to get people through a few bad nights if they're having a hard time sleeping not to become a life- long sort of habit.

CUOMO: Because?

GUPTA: Because they could have -- over time they can actually start to build up some of these side effects and you may actually have an impairment the next day. You may not actually be able to function as we well as you could. If you're just walking to work that maybe one thing but if you're getting behind the wheel, you know, that can be much more problematic. PEREIRA: Chamomile tea.

GUPTA: Chamomile tea, you also --

PEREIRA: I think it's a solution. It helps people a lot.

GUPTA: A little piece of advice I heard is if you're having a hard time falling asleep, get out of bed. Do something that's not that stimulating that actually get -- this happens to me all the time I stay in bed and try to fight it and think I'll fall asleep. Get out of bed.

BOLDUAN: It makes you a little crazier like laying there.

GUPTA: Exactly.

PEREIRA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta always a pleasure to have you up early to join us. Now, you can go have a nap.

GUPTA: Thank you.

PEREIRA: And we should point out a very important programming note, in case you missed it. You can catch the show that everybody is buzzing about Dr. Sanjay Gupta's highly acclaimed special "Weed" it is Friday night. Once again, 10:00 Eastern right here on CNN. Tune in for that.

BOLDUAN: And we'll talk later about the connections between sleep -- I'm just kidding. It's too easy.

GUPTA: That was a good segue -- it sounds perfect.

BOLDUAN: I'm sorry ok.

CUOMO: Joking with Sanjay but what the half life is on "Weed" jokes. But a very important conversation that he brought up.

Whenever Sanjay is here, it's always "The Good Stuff". So we're going to get a double stuff today.

Here's more good stuff for you.

Today's edition Stevie Beale. All right Stevie was paralyzed in a car accident when she was just 17 years old. She had years of tough recovery in therapy that followed that but she made a promise to herself, that if she ever got married, she would somehow walk down the aisle. And that's exactly what she did. After months of work, Stevie walked down the aisle with the assistance of her walker and her father, of course.

But you know what, there's something else that makes this the good stuff. It's how Stevie met her husband. After her accident Stevie didn't give up. She didn't become just about her own recovery, she volunteered her time and she went to others with similar injuries at local hospitals. One of the people she was helping was named Brianna Mullinger who lost her leg in an accident. It was Brianna who introduced Stevie to her future husband. Take a listen.


BRIANNA MULLINGER, FRIEND OF STEVIE BEALE: It's amazing to know that I introduced them. At the beginning you know they were just friends and they fell so madly in love.

STEVIE BEALE, WALKED DOWN THE AISLE DESPITE PARALYSIS: I am just so excited to finally be married and know that you know I'm marrying my best friend. Well I married my best friend I guess I could say now and you know that I know we're going to laugh for the rest of our lives.


CUOMO: And of course Stevie only had to walk down the aisle because look at him a real husband already the first moment he carries her back up.

PEREIRA: There was not a dry eye in that room, I'm sure.

BOLDUAN: You are one cool chick. That is awesome.

PEREIRA: What a beautiful, beautiful girl.

CUOMO: She is a beautiful person on a lot of levels and it is "The Good Stuff" because she did not become even just about her own recovery. She immediately started giving back to others and have wound up coming back to her. As she met as she says, the best friend and partner for the rest of her life.

GUPTA: And just prior (ph) to that wedding, the amount of work she had to do, the rehab to be able to walk down that aisle.

PEREIRA: I'm sure it was exhausting too, after that. I mean it's always the -- always the case, but for her, I'm wondering if it was extra.


PEREIRA: You know the fatigue of just that emotion, too right?

GUPTA: Exactly.

CUOMO: Good stuff. Thank you for giving us that story. Comes from you. Keep them coming so we can keep telling you the good news.

PEREIRA: Well done.

BOLDUAN: All right coming up next on NEW DAY, are you ready for a Prince Selfie?



The famously offline artist now tweeting. Getting a very special award because of it.


CUOMO: Cue the music, intro the man, present the award.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All right let me say this to you folks, life. Electric word -- life, it means forever and that's a mighty long time. No I'm not being unusually profound here. Who said that? Who said that?

CUOMO: Prince.

BERMAN: Exactly, Prince. Mr. Prince. It's something very exciting has happened. Prince he's taken a major step. He is on Twitter now. He's doing it under the handle "Third Eye Girl" which is the name of his band that he's performing with right now.

His first tweet said "Prince's first tweet. Testing, one, two." His second tweet, creative, "Prince's second tweet," it said. Then he tweeted some food and a selfie. Why is this a big deal?

Well, because a few years ago, Prince really went after the Internet. He said the Internet is completely over. All these computers and digital gadgets are no good. They just fill your head with numbers and that can't be good for you."

PEREIRA: Well he might have something.

BERMAN: The Internet is over, is it?

PEREIRA: That part, no.

BERMAN: I think the worldwide web might amount to something some day and apparently Prince does, too. What I say to Prince is welcome to the '90s, prince. Tonight you're going to party like it's 1999. He wins the "Party like it's 1999" award because after all this time, Prince has finally made it there.

BOLDUAN: Very exciting.

CUOMO: It's true.

BERMAN: Welcome to the worldwide web, Mr. Prince. Happy to have you.

BOLDUAN: Is he not the artist formally known -- I'm sorry.

PEREIRA: No longer.

BERMAN: I don't know what he's known as but he's known as something. And he's on Twitter. PEREIRA: Ok.

BOLDUAN: Good stuff.

Here's some more good stuff for you. We're just using "good stuff" all over the place. We have a very big announcement to make here on NEW DAY, CNN. Prince William is speaking for the first time since becoming a dad and he's speaking to CNN's Max Foster. That's happening Monday right here on NEW DAY make sure you tune in.

PEREIRA: Exciting. That sounds great.

CUOMO: The baby had him silenced. These are the first words --

BERMAN: He hasn't said a word.

CUOMO: He's gushing.

We're going to take a quick break. This is rush, by the way.


BOLDUAN: And that is it for us. But a big reminder for NEW DAY Monday, Prince William speaking for the first time since becoming dad and he is speaking to CNN's Max Foster. You do not want to miss that on NEW DAY coming up on Monday.

For now let's toss it off to the fabulous Carol Costello in the "CNN NEWSROOM".