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New Guidelines Announced for Treating Cholesterol; Philippines Devastated by Typhoon; DOJ Approves Airline Merger; White House Woes

Aired November 13, 2013 - 07:00   ET


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: the White House chief technology officer will testify at a House Oversight Committee hearing on the botched rollout, this as "The Washington Post" reports the website will not be fully operational by the end of November as the White House had hoped.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: A rumble in the jungle, that's what Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he expects when council members meet today to vote on his mayoral post. Ford has refused to step down after admitting to smoking crack. In an unprecedented move, council members will seek to govern without Ford until next year's elections. The first motion would call for Ford to take a leave of absence, apologize to Toronto residents for misleading them, and to cooperate with police. If he refuses the council will seek government legislation to have him removed from office.

BOLDUAN: Now to what could be a tectonic shift in the way doctors treat cholesterol. New guidelines were issued test from the nation's leading heart organizations that could lead to new prescriptions for cholesterol-lowering drugs for tens of millions of Americans. Chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is at the CNN Center with much more on this. Sanjay, I was reading this could impact -- this means something very big for about a quarter of Americans over the age of 40. Why are the guidelines such a big deal?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I mean, you're talking about one of the most popular cardiac heart medications out there. They think these guidelines could potentially double the number of people taking these medications.

Let me just give you an example of what we're talking about. These statins or cholesterol-lowering drugs, for a long time, doctors gave them for somewhat specific reasons with, lower the total cholesterol below 200, lower the bad cholesterol below 100. The HDL, that's the good cholesterol. That's what we've done for a long time. Now they really want to loosen the guidelines and they say for all these different things, if you had diabetes you would be recommended a statin. If you had evidence of heart disease, you'd be recommended a statin. There would be people who had bad cholesterol for congenital reasons. And then if your heart over 10 years is over 7.5 percent. The point is if you do the math on all this, it really increases the number of people.

BOLDUAN: That makes the guidelines more understandable, but one thing that seems confuse at least to me is that 10-year heart disease risk score, what is it? How do you figure that out? GUPTA: This is based on a calculator. Think of as a mish-mosh of all the other various risk factors. So even things like your age, your gender, have you had blood pressure, has it been treated, are you a smoker, things like that. They put it into a calculator which will be online, and you can figure out your risk of having heart disease over 10 years in this case. If it's above 7.5 percent, again, it would be recommended a statin. That's a possibly a pretty large segment of the population.

BOLDUAN: As you said, this could double the number of Americans taking statins. That raises the question, is that safe? Are there other side effects people need to worry about?

GUPTA: There are side effects to these medications. Sometimes people write them off. But I've talked to patients who suffered from muscle cramping, which can be really significant, to the point they can't get out and be active, despite the fact that their doctors are telling them to exercise. They can develop problems with the liver or problem with memory loss. So there are significant side effects and there are very serious side effects in rare cases.

But the other issue I think as well, Kate, does all of this actually increase longevity? Does it make people live longer? We know that it can lower cholesterol. We know it can do different things, but if patients are to go to their doctors and say will this change make us live longer? We can't convincingly answer that question either.

BOLDUAN: Sanjay, kind of bottom line, what's your take on all of this? Are these good changes, bad changes, indifferent? What do you think?

GUPTA: Well, I think, you know, anytime you're talking about a very preventable disease and the sort of thrust of action is to increase the number of people taking medications, I do wonder if we're sort of waving the white flag on this. I come on to your program all the time and beat the drum on prevention, diet and exercise. We know that that works. Instead, we're going to increase by tens of millions of people the number of people taking these drugs. So I, you know, I wish it would be the other way.

BOLDUAN: You need to continue beating that drum that there are ways to reduce your risk of heart disease and all of the others, but I guess this is the new change. In lieu of people making big changes they can make a change on the prescription they get.

GUPTA: Yes. But don't forget the big changes, but they'll pay off much bigger in the end.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Sanjay. Great to see you. Thank you so much.

GUPTA: You got it.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: If we're going to talk about a major health crisis, we have to talk about the Philippines. The good news is that help is getting there after that monster typhoon, but it's just nowhere near enough. Those most in need may be the hardest to help. Four additional American osprey choppers will arrive from Japan today. But the devastation is hampering delivery efforts of medicine and clean water to those who need it most. Our own Anderson Cooper is in Tacloban province, one of the hardest hit areas. Good to see you this morning. What's the latest?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, "AC 360": Well, we've actually had a big change in the last hour or two. For the first time now, here at Tacloban airport, just as the marines promised they would do and the airport personnel on the ground they have gotten this airport to operate on a 24-hour basis. For the first time, runway lights are on. There's two Malaysian C-130 cargo jets delivering aid, which are on the runway right now, and people are offloading it. You can hear the planes. That's a big change.

This is the first night and it's about 8:00 here in the evening. This is the first night where we have seen planes taking off and landing in darkness, usually just daylight hours only. So that will clearly be a big improvement. The marine brigadier general had promised they would get this airport up and running and they, along with airport personnel, have done that.

But again, the question is what happens to the aid between the time it gets off the plane and getting out to the people who need it? There's still not enough vehicles, not enough trucks, still not enough organization on the Philippines side to really complete that transfer of aid. So there's still a lot of work that needs to be done.

CUOMO: And what are you seeing now? You're five plus days into this situation. What are you seeing about the level of desperation? Are people able to help themselves at all? There's so many kids displaced we're hearing. What are you seeing on the ground?

COOPER: You know, people are helping themselves as best they can. People here, their poverty is widespread. People are resilient. They're used to, frankly, being abandoned and left to their own devices by successive governments over the decades and generations. So people are very resilient.

But in an area like this, all the infrastructure has been wiped away, all the homes, the vast majority of homes have been destroyed and/or damaged. And so there's not a lot of stuff that people can do. People are sharing what little food they have but, there simply is not enough food or water. People come up to you with empty water bottles asking you if you have any water. And that kind of shipment, that kind of aid cannot arrive soon enough.

We have also started to see a little bit more organization on the Philippines side. They have at least started to collect the deceased people who have been really left out for now five days. That will certainly improve the certainly the smell and perhaps the mood of people here, as they start to see, at least, some sort of a cleanup effort.

CUOMO: And I was watching you last night. And your reporting where you were going with one woman who you had met who had the bodies of her family there, she was still searching for her children. And you were making the point it's difficult to get help in these areas. How close are we knowing the extent of need in outlying areas, not just even ones where people can kind of access, like where you are?

COOPER: Yes. That's a really good point. I actually went out today. You mentioned those Marine Corps osprey aircraft. I actually went out in an osprey today to a nearby island where Philippine military were brought out there by the U.S. marines just to kind of do a survey, assess the needs of the people there. So that has started to happen. It's not happening quick enough, certainly for the people on that island and on many other coastal communities, small areas that are hard to get to. But in the days ahead, now that the airport here is running on a 24-hour basis, those ospreys are going to be flying to an awful lot of these outlying areas, assessing the needs of the people and able to deliver aid where needed and when needed.

CUOMO: All right, Anderson, thank you very much for the reporting. We'll be watching you tonight and throughout the day of course. "AC 360" airs tonight live from the Philippines, 8:00 p.m. eastern time.

BOLDUAN: Let's get back to Indra and another check of the weather. Also, Indra, how much snow? We talked about snow yesterday, but how much snow did we actually see?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: This is going to be Indiana, I want to take you to your home state, Kate. Nine inches. Do you like this lake-effect snow?

BOLDUAN: Like it or not you're going to get it.

PETERSONS: Nine inches out towards Indiana. Not so much everyone else, three inches around Cleveland a distant memory. All that snow definitely offshore already. There were places off the lakes, off lake Erie, Pennsylvania, almost 10 inches of it and in New York city, we set a record, tied the record for pretty much just a hint, almost like a trace there of a dusting of snow, kind of fun out there. Yes, pressure still in place, it is still chilly.

If you're going outdoors this morning, here's what it feels like right now. Atlanta, 23 degrees, all the way in the south. It is one thing when New York City is in the 20s. But when you see New Orleans at 28 degrees, you know that cold air dove way far down. That is what we are all dealing with today, even as we go through the afternoon. These are the highs. We're talking about New Orleans only seeing 56, New York City today actuality only looking for 39 degrees.

But here's the good news, yes, that dome of high pressure shifts offshore by tomorrow. So with that, you get the winds coming out of the south. When that happens we quickly warm up. So by tomorrow, we'll be talking about temperatures already into the 50s right where they should be. I learned a new little word. Richard Quest said it is Parky out this morning. What is Parky? Blistery? No, just this.

BOLDUAN: With Richard Quest you don't ask questions, you just say yes.

PETERSONS: New word.

CUOMO: Also a chance, not a word. He could have made it up.

BOLDUAN: Could have been a Quest-ism.

PETERSONS: Parky. I'll go with it.

CUOMO: Here he comes to explain it.


QUEST: What does it mean?

BOLDUAN: Is there an "r" in there.

QUEST: Yes, P-A-R-K-Y. It literally means it's very parky out there.

BOLDUAN: Synonym?

QUEST: Not a word. Not a word.


BOLDUAN: Do not question Richard Quest or he will come get you in the studio.

CUOMO: And he will cold cock you in the side of the face.

Coming up on NEW DAY, you've been missing Sarah Palin? She's back. She's talking about everything from the presidency to the Pope. So what is next for the former vice presidential nominee? We will discuss.

BOLDUAN: And two airlines combining forces to create one mega airline. What does that mean for you and ticket prices and baggage fees? We'll get to the parky over here to bring you some answers. Richard Quest is on the way.

CUOMO: That was a good Quest-ism.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. The justice department has cleared the way for American Airlines and U.S. Airways to merge and become the world's largest airline. Big question, what does the merger mean for you, more importantly your wallet? Let's bring in the one and only Richard Quest, CNNI business correspondent, the host of "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS." What does this mean, Mr. Quest?

QUEST: Let the flying competition begin. It all started with Delta and Northwest, when they merged. Then came along United.

CUOMO: That's a crash.

QUEST: United and Continental. Now comes American and U.S. Airways, bigger than the other two, with many more routes, more planes and a larger presence in the market. So how did we get here? Let's take a look at who merged with who and the routes.

Look at these routes. This is what they had to promise to actually get to where they are. Look at how the airlines all came together. Oh, they're getting together in a delightful little orgy of consolidation.


QUEST: And what you end up with is three legacies and one Southwest. Where's Southwest? We couldn't find a model. It was too expensive, unlike the tickets, we couldn't pay for the model. What we ended up with was three legacy carriers now about to do battle. Absolute head- to-head, foot-to-foot, whatever you want to say, battle between the three major carriers.

PEREIRA: Does that mean they're fighting for my dollar and I'm going to get a better route and ticket price?

QUEST: That's what the Justice Department's lawsuit was all about, making sure certain key routes were kept open. And in the agreement that was announced yesterday, if you look at the map, every -- all the major hubs agreed to continue service to these cities in some shape or form across the United States.

I have to say, if you look at what the DOJ finally wrought out of American, it wasn't a huge amount, 104 slots, so many at Reagan, so many at Logan, Laguardia, Chicago, Dulles.

CUOMO: They had to give up slots?

QUEST: They had to give up -- they had to sell them.


QUEST: Because they were dominant. If you take Reagan, this new airline will have something like 68 percent of the slots. For people traveling from these major airports to other places these would have had a strangle hold. It's a reality, Chris. You can't get over the fact that the United States now has three major legacy carrier groups. Southwest, which is virtually the same size and, of course, JetBlue which is a long way behind.

PEREIRA: They're not happy with this. In fact they came up with a deal yesterday because they wanted to sort of protest this merger, didn't they, $55 one-day trip?

QUEST; That was just before they announced this deal. They're not happy with it and for good reason. Let's look at that graphic again, showing the amount of share. Look at that, Delta's got 16.3 percent of the U.S., United 15 percent. Throw together American and U.S. Airways and you end up with 20 percent, give or take. Here's the real question.

BOLDUAN: I'm waiting for it.

QUEST: I always like to ask and then answer my own questions. (CROSSTALK)

QUEST: I find it much more satisfying.

BOLDUAN: It's quicker means to the end.

QUEST: Here's the real question. Once competition begins, when do we start to see cuts in prices?

BOLDUAN: That's what I'm wondering. How does this increase competition for consumers? I'm seeing less airlines, even if you are giving up routes, how is this good for the consumer?

QUEST: Ultimately they start to spot market share where they can steal from each other, providing the DOJ has done its work and prevented - if you're like unauthorized, informal competition lack of, which is what they said they were finding, you will start to see on the major routes competition prices starting to at least hold the place and maybe even come down. Remember this morning, we've just had results from Emirates Airlines of the Gulf. The Dubai airline, $600 million profit, billions of dollars in revenues. While these three are doing battle with each other, let us not forget Lufthansa, the British Airways group IAG, Emirates, Etihad, Cathay.

BOLDUAN: Is this just - this is just the reality. Because they weren't going too - is merging just the reality of the airline industry right now?

CUOMO: Grow or die.

QUEST: Grow or wither.

BOLDUAN: Wither.

QUEST: Wither, and watch yourself wither without. These three will now be in a competitive environment where they can beat the begeebies out of each other in the United States. If you're flying from Atlanta it is a Delta stronghold with Airtran and Southwest. If you're out of Laguardia it will be much more competitive. If you're out of Boston, similarly. Take Chicago, for example, headquarters of United, but also a massive American presence. Dallas, an American presence. Los Angeles is a fighting ground at the moment between all three of the major carriers.

CUOMO: But you do have to go with one of them and that always raises the concern about how early on it's they have the upper hand because you have to choose one of them because they dominate the market. They're not necessarily incentivized to jump to lower prices to draw you.

QUEST: Eventually they do. Eventually they do, because they spot market share. The biggest talking point at the moment in the industry is how they are raising the number of frequent flyer miles needed to redeem tickets.


QUEST: And how you now have a spend component for getting elite status. I probably will never get another upgrade after talking about this.

BOLDUAN: You are officially on the no-fly list. You're stuck.

CUOMO: Appreciate you breaking it down. It's a little complicated, hopefully it comes out for us. Richard will come back at some point and explain whether or not it's doing what it's supposed to.

BOLDUAN: Fly your planes, Richard.

CUOMO: The planes are a gift.

BOLDUAN: And we will be right back.

CUOMO: Come to NEW DAY, get a plane. That's the promise.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, Sarah Palin unfiltered, criticizing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie over his appearance. What she had to say about his weight.

CUOMO: And the Miami Dolphins scandal, not going away. An NFL investigator now in the mix meeting with offensive tackle Jonathan Martin. Someone else is not meeting with martin, at least not yet. We'll tell you who and why.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone, it's Wednesday, November 13th. Coming up in the show, Sarah Palin's speaking out on everything from her relationship with God to Governor Chris Christie's weight. And you've got to hear what she told CNN's Jake Tapper about the pope.

CUOMO: Didn't know she was Catholic.

Plus, breaking news in the Miami Dolphins scandal. A day after owner Steven Ross said he would meet with accuser Jonathan Martin, he's not. Turns out it may not be up to him. We'll tell you why.

PEREIRA: And making news this morning, imagine this, freedom for Ryan Ferguson after nearly a decade behind bars in Missouri. He was released Tuesday after his murder conviction was overturned and prosecutors decided not to retry him for the 2001 death of newspaper editor Ken Heitholt. He had been implicated by former classmate Charles Erickson who claimed he had dream-like memories of both of them committing the crime. Last year, Erickson recanted and Ryan Ferguson will join us live next hour.

Desperately needed food and water and medical supplies finally trickling into the hardest hit parts of the Philippines, five days after Typhoon Haiyan smashed through. As of Tuesday, the U.S. delivered 129,000 pounds of supplies and hundreds have been relocated to Manila. The official death toll stands at over 1,800. That is expected to rise, but officials are now saying numbers could be lower than earlier feared.

The State Department says two Americans kidnapped from a supply ship off Nigeria's coast last month have been released. Armed men stormed the Sea Retriever October 23rd and took a captain and a chief engineer captive. The oil rich Gulf of Guinea off Nigeria has been hunting grounds for pirates over the last few years.

First, you remember there was Google Glass for your eyes. Now we're learning the tech giant wants to tattoo your throat? It has applied for a patent on electronic skin tattoo that would communicate with smartphones, gaming devices, tablets, and wearable technology via a bluetooth style connection. The tattoo, which sticks to your neck, or really could be placed on your collar, could even be used as a lie detector.

What do we talk most about most on the internet? You're probably wondering. I know I do. The annual survey from the Global Language Monitor based on how many times words, or even phrases, are used in blogs and on social media and even news outlets, is in. Drumroll. Chris? Can you?

Number five, a tie between Kate Middleton and her new son, Prince George. Number four, NSA leaker Edward Snowden. Number three, the National Security Administration itself. At number two, Obamacare. But the most talked about on the internet this year, yes, Pope Francis, thanks to his election, elevation, and efforts to open up the church. How about that? The most searched, Pope Francis. It says something about our world.

CUOMO: A billion Catholics.

BOLDUAN: It says (ph) there are a billion Catholics --

PEREIRA: But it also - there's been intrigue around him too. He's become the pope of the people.

CUOMO: It's not just Catholics. People like to comment on the church a lot.

PEREIRA: You mean like Sarah Palin?

CUOMO: Yes, Sarah Palin. Very well done.

BOLDUAN: Let's talk about the pope and much more like Former President Bill Clinton wading into the Obamacare controversy saying President Obama should let the millions of American whose plans have been dropped by their insurance carriers, let them keep their policies if they like them. Listen.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I personally believe even if it takes a change in the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they've got.


BOLDUAN: There you go. Joining us now to talk about it and CNN political commentator and former adviser to Bill Clinton, Paul Begala. Good morning.


BOLDUAN: So, you've got kind of a combo deal this morning; you have tough poll numbers we've been talking about all show from Quinnipiac University, and then you've got President Clinton, maybe you could say not helping President Obama at this very moment. You know Clinton. What was he thinking?

BEGALA: See, I think he was -- I have not talked to him. I'm not speaking for him, Kate. I know him really well, over 20 years. He was picking up -- to me, I'm sure to President Clinton, this is of a piece with what President Obama said in that interview with Chuck Todd. President Obama said we may have to make changes in the law. We may have to make some changed -- I've sent my staff out. That's what he said, I sent my staff out to give me advice on how we can make this happen. This is - believe me, this is the least of the White House's problems.

The poll, serious problem. The fact that President Clinton is extending what President Obama said I think is the least of their worries right now. They have to get that website right, and then they can worry about President Clinton perfectly aligned with President Obama.

CUOMO:I think if we were in a different venue with a different beverage in front of us we could talk for a long time about that Clinton's motivations were in bringing this up when it was an obvious position the president already held. Future politics etc, etc. But we'll give you a pass on that for today.

When you look at these poll numbers, thinking back to Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky days, during the impeachment days, have you ever seen a higher lie indicator than this? Not just trustworthiness, but that almost half the people think the president, Obama, was lying about the promise to keep your plan?

BEGALA: Well, sadly, yes.