tv New Day With Alisyn Camerota and John Berman CNN August 27, 2019 4:00am-5:00am PDT
island. the weather expected to get much worse as you can imagine. this is a live look at barbados where tropical storm dorian is already beginning to churn up the waves. we'll have the latest forecast and a live report from puerto rico just ahead. the other big story this morning is the pharmaceutical giant johnson & johnson ordered to pay $572 million to the state of oklahoma in a landmark opioid trial. the judge ruled that j and j potentially played down the dangers and oversold the benefits of opioids. the trial is the first to hold a drug company accountable for america's opioid crisis. joining us now is sabrina strong, she's an attorney for johnson & johnson. ms. strong, thank you so much for being here to respond to this. what is your response to this landmark ruling yesterday? >> we disagree with the decision. we have sympathy for those who suffer from substance abuse, but
johnson & johnson did not cause the opioid abuse crisis, and the facts and the law do not support the decision. >> well, the judge disagrees. the judge says that not only did you all contribute mightily to the crisis, at least in oklahoma, that you did something so callous that it has to be held -- it has to be punished. here's what the judge said, quote, defendants used the phrase pseudo addiction to convince doctors that patients who exhibited signs of i a dicti -- addiction, asking for higher doses of opioids or returning early were not suffering from addiction but the undertreatment of pain and the solution, according to johnson & johnson's marketing was to prescribe the patient more opioids. what's your response to that claim? >> those are not the facts. the concept of pseudo addiction
is recognized to this day in the label for fda approved medications in this class and the issue there is for doctors to look at their patients and make an individualized decision with their patients as to whether or not they need additional pain medication or there's something else going on. it's important to understand that these medications that the company manufactured are for people who suffer from chronic debilitating pain. and the way in which the company manufactured these medications and marketed them to doctors was extremely responsible. there are warnings on these medications, fda approved warnings and it's up to the doctor with their patients to make decisions about who is appropriate for these medications. and that's what the evidence at the trial showed is that the
company was extremely responsible in the way it manufactured and marketed these medicines in compliance with the fda and dea regulations. >> that's obviously not what the judge concluded. according to the way "the new york times" broke it down here, i'll just tell you what they said was so much more than just the manufacturing of these pills that johnson & johnson was responsible for. so they said that they had a broader role than just in their own sales. johnson & johnson developed a poppy strain when refined became a central ingredient for drugs like oxycodone to be used. johnson & johnson was the top supplier of that base opioid. okay. here's where we get to how it went further. the sales staff relentlessly promoted opioids generally, not just the company's own, in some 150,000 visits to oklahoma doctors. i mean, what it says is that it was a really reckless and irresponsible marketing plan that got the doctors to believe that this was sort of the
answer. >> those are not the facts that were presented at trial. not one doctor in oklahoma was called to the stand to testify that he or she was misled by anything that the company said or did. and not one patient or family member testified about any abuse or misuse associated with the company's medications. the company manufactured two pain medications for patients who suffer from long-term debilitating pain and the evidence is that those medications were rarely diverted, rarely abused and amounted to less than 1% of all the opioid medications prescribed in oklahoma. that's true throughout the country as well. so there's simply no basis for the finding that the company is responsible for the opioid abuse crisis, which is a serious
public health cri the country but it involves diversion of prescription medications, criminal activity. it is also largely driven by elicit drugs that are coming in from outside the country, from countries like mexico and elsewhere. >> but the reason that the opioid crisis is often driven by elicit drugs is because first people get addicted to the painkillers, the prescribed opioids and when they can't get their hands on them anymore, they have to divert to the heroin and fentanyl that you're talking about. if you don't think that johnson & johnson played any role, how do you explain the 47,000 deaths a year from the opioid scourge of the addiction. how do you explain what's happening in the country? >> it's a very complicated public health crisis, but it does not stem from johnson & johnson's medications. we have to remember, nobody disputes that these are
important, essential medications that patients need, and the evidence is that the company marketed and manufactured them responsibly, and again, to the extent that diversion is an issue, these medications, we can't paint this with a broad brush. these medications, manufactured by johnson & johnson, were rarely diverted, rarely abused. this is the company that you want manufacturing these caniki of medications. you want a responsible company doing it. that's what the evidence demonstrated here, and unfortunately it's very easy to paint this with a broad brush but we need to look at the facts of the case, and those are consistent with the facts of the case. >> we know that you will be appealing this decision. sabrina strong, thank you very much for giving us johnson & johnson's side this morning. . >> thank you for having me. joining us now is brad beckworth, the lead outside attorney who argued the case for the state of oklahoma. brad, thank you so much for
being with us this morning. you just heard sabrina strong from johnson & johnson make the case that is up to the doctor to prescribe these medications, up to the doctor, johnson & johnson did give these drugs to people -- didn't give these drugs to the people, the doctor did. what's your response to that? >> first, alisyn, i thought you did a great job with that. sounds like you have a pretty good mastery of the facts here. i have been in court with johnson & johnson and mrs. strong for the better part of two years, and it's really sad to me to see that even today, after a judge has found their company responsible, they're still perpetuating the same lies this company has told for 20 years. she said no doctor in oklahoma ever came in and said that they were influenced by this company. that's not true. they had a prominent doctor here in oklahoma that they paid $10,000 a day to come in and
testify on their behalf. what they didn't know is that doctor had given a speech in private here in oklahoma a few years before where he said, hey, here's what really happened, we all know what happened. they came in and told us to prescribe more opioids to anybody who was in pain, and who asked for them, and so that's what we did. and we all know now that was wrong and you can't do that anymore. >> but the argument is that if the doctors who actually do prescribing, not johnson & johnson, what's your response to that specific argument? >> doctors do the prescribing but they do it based on the information that the drug companies gave. so let me give you an example of that. so if you went to the doctor and said, hey, doctor, i've got very bad lower back pain, and i've heard a lot about these opioids, i want to know if i take them, am i at risk of becoming an addict, is that something that could that happen to me.
what your doctor should tell you, if johnson & johnson had told you the truth was look, these companies are claiming they're not addictive drugs, but we never did the research. we never did studies, despite what our own advisers told us to do. we don't know whether you have a 1 in 10% chance of being addicted or a hundred percent. that's not what they did. they went to every doctor and said, look, there is a less than 1% chance of becoming addicted if you use or drugs every day. that was a lie. >> i was going to say, you base your case, and a lot of people have looked at this on what some people consider to be a novel legal theory, which is public nuisance, the idea that the opioid crisis is a public nuisance that johnson & johnson is responsible for. the "wall street journal" wrote today the judge who decided, judge balkman stretches by saying j and j is liable because sales reps were trained in oklahoma homes, used company
cars and sent messages to homes via computers. by this standard, cell manufacturers could be liable for damages caused by distracted drivers. how do you respond to that? they're basically saying if this violates the public nuisance law, then any product manufacturer or distributor could violate the public nuisance law. >> well, public nuisance law in oklahoma is different than in most states. judge balkman is an oklahoma lawyer. he was a legislator here, and he's been involved in this case for more than two years. what his opinion actually said was that oklahoma law does not require the use of property to rise to the level of culpability. o o if it orchffends decency, tell
mothers and fathers if your child is injured in sporting event, for example, and they start taking a deadly opioid, that they're not going to get addicted when it's just a lie, and robs that child and that family of the life of their son or daughter, nothing could offend decency more than that. statements about property -- go ahead, sorry. >> i was going to say, you mentioned yourself that the public nuisance law in oklahoma is slightly different than most other states. do you see this case as the beginning of something much bigger around the nation? there's a big federal case taking place in ohio in october here, is this just the tip of the iceberg? >> i think it is for johnson & johnson for sure, and here's why. for the last five, six years that people have been looking at this crisis, they have looked at other companies like purdue pharmaceutical because the evidence that was out there was just about that company. until we took johnson & johnson to trial, no one knew how
pervasive and systemic this company's role in being a root cause of the opioid crisis really was. they have hidden behind secret documents, they have hidden behind lawyers and closed board rooms and we revealed for the first time ever to everyone out there that johnson & johnson was behind over 60% of all of the oxycodone that was ever produced in america, more than 60% of all the hydrocodone that is used here in oklahoma and in the rest of the country. so yeah, i think this is a tip of the iceberg for johnson & johnson. >> brad beckworth, thank you for joining us this morning. i know this case has been the result of a lot of work for you. and you have had other issues in your own household in the last few months, thank you for being with us this morning, we look forward to speaking with you again. >> thank you. a tropical storm warning and hurricane watch have been issued for puerto rico and parts of the dominican republic as dorian intensifies. many puerto ricans are not
taking chances. they are stocking up on supplies. memories of hurricane maria very fresh. a team of first responders is deploying to st. croix to help with search and rescue efforts. meteorologist chad myers is tracking the storm for us. it looks like people are taking this one seriously. >> i hope so, although this isn't going to be any stretch of any computer's imagination to category 3 or category 4 storm. there's already so much damage on the ground from the old storm that this isn't going to take a lot to make a significant amount of damage, especially flooding. this is a two-part storm. we're focussing today on puerto rico and the dominican republic. this storm eventually gets into the bahamas, and it will make a run at florida. that's four and five days out. but the storm right now, hurricane hunters in there, about a 50 miles per hour storm, becoming a 70 miles per hour storm as it makes a run at ponce
or punta cana. that's the first part of the storm, then it gets into the water near nassau and turned left. does it go to the keys or myrtle beach. we don't know that yet. we're still not that far out. you can't trust the model 120 hours out. you can barely trust it 48 hours out for that matter, but they all are turning back to the left, and this water right here is 89 to 90 degrees. when that storm, if it's still a storm after it goes over the dr and haiti and puerto rico, if it's still a big circulation, the intensity could rapidly go up as we see this storm into the bahamas. we know it's going to rain a lot. we know there's going to be wind. for now, we are watching the second part of the storm for the u.s., the first part for puerto rico. >> chad myers, stand by for us, we have another update at 8:00. we'll check back in with you. we're on the ground in puerto rico as well. the new governor there has
declared a state of emergency. 3 million americans live on that island. cnn's polo sandoval live in san juan, polo, with the preparations, what are you seeing? >> reporter: john, there certainly is an expectation here on the island that dorian will provide the current government that's been in place for less than a month with an opportunity to show its ability to respond to a potential emergency. there is an expectation that the impact will be minimal for residents. they are not letting their guard down. there's an emergency declaration that's in place. the governor announcing at least 360 shelters will potentially open across the island with an ability to bring in about 48,000 residents if it's necessary, and also even hospitals across the island have been told to prepare for a potential emergency that could result from dorian the in next few days. again, at this point, the folks are watching and waiting to see what if any impact it will feel because anytime they see any kind of disturbance in the
tropics, that certainly brings out about any potential memories of that storm back in 2017, that deadly storm, and that's why what we're seeing in puerto rico is people preparing, getting the fuel, getting the provisions, because they are facing the possibility of at least a disruption in their normal life. back to you. >> keep us posted. again, rebuilding not even done yet. that's the risk here. we're not going to see 120 miles an hour winds but 75 miles an hour with the rain could be a serious issue. >> it sounds like people are doing the right thing. we'll see. of course we'll track that storm's progress. a new poll raising questions about the democratic primary race. is the joe biden lead in jeopardy. a lot will happen in your life. wrinkles just won't. neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair's
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way race at the top, bernie sanders, elizabeth warren and joe biden. this is the first poll that shows biden as part of the pack rather than having a statistically significant lead, and there are people looking at this saying, oh, my god, joe biden has fallen back. it's just one poll. the margin of error is 6%. plus or minus 6 percent. he could be winning by 12 points if you do the math. that said, this shows a race that might be closer than what people think and if electability is your argument here for joe biden, probably a concern. >> yeah, it's why you actually have a campaign. people show up, take a candidate's measure and get beyond initial perceptions, which i think were that biden has the highest name recognition and is the odds on favorite to be able to beat trump. now there's actually a debate about that. and a debate about what the future of the democratic party is which i think was right, especially after 2016 and hillary clinton's experience, and the way that she defeated bernie sanders.
i think in any race, there's always two, and i say there's two candidates potentially on the democratic side, maybe more, but certainly multiple lanes. there is the moderate lane, however you define that, the kind of front runner moderate electability, viability, and then there is a robust progressive lane, and right now i think that's warren and sanders, and she's generating enthusiasm, you can't deny it. >> let's see what our resident contrarian thinks about this. >> it's a rinky din k poll, 290,000 people for a national poll is a small poll. that's why the margin of error is 6%. what i do think is significant is elizabeth warren getting 15,000 people at a rally, portland, seattle. >> seattle, 15,000, 12,000 in minnesota. >> i mean, these big crowds matter. you know, one thing that donald
trump, barack obama, and george w. bush all have in common is they all won and they got people out to see them. el pa i mean, you know, that is a sign that there is something going on in the country, and elizabeth warren is the only candidate on the democratic side who is drawing those sorts of crowds. that to me matters more than one poll. >> kamala harris in her announcement speech had a giant crowd, hasn't replicated it since. and president howard dean was on the phone for you talking about giant crowd size, but i agree what you see is enthusiasm, organization, it shows a campaign that is in high gear and to ignore it i think you do at your own peril. i want to introduce something new to the conversation, and i think it plays into everything we're talking about, the biden campaign moments ago released a new ad that's going up in iowa. we're told this is a big buy, multiweek buy, six figures in
iowa, 60 seconds and the issue is health care, so listen to this. >> my son beau was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given only months to live. i can't fathom what would have happened if the insurance companies had said for the last six months of his life you're on your own. the fact of the matter is health care is personal to me. obamacare is personal to me. >> it seems to me there are a couple of things that are very important. number one, a big buy in iowa. and then the second thing is the subject, health care, that is of huge interest to me because that might be the issue he most wants to differentiate himself from elizabeth warren on. >> and it might be the issue that he actually has the most trouble on in a state like iowa with a primary audience in particular. joe biden's health care message is a general election message. it is basically, i'm not going to go too far to the left because i don't think that that
is going to be a strategy that will help me appeal to the broad middle swath of the country. but in the primary, it could very well be a liability. that's why you heard jill biden in that now infamous clip telling those undecided voters, hey, even if joe isn't all that great for you on health care, vote for him anyway. so this adds an acknowledgment that that's a point he needs to shore up for voters. to your point, also it really just highlighted how important iowa is for joe biden, and one thing that you do hear from some of the other campaigns, and i think what this poll maybe also illustrates is that even though joe biden is the guy to be in this primary right now, a lot of the other campaigns believe that support is kind of soft, and that there is room for him to fall and i think the biden campaign is trying to hang on to their lead in iowa, trying to stay at the front of the pack there because if they show signs of weakness early in this
campaign, i think the other campaigns are going to see blood in the water, and it's going to get a little bit tougher for them as they go along. >> let's remember on health care. it's a very hard issue. i don't think that voters necessarily in the main vote on issues in their particulars. but it's a bigger issue in the sense of first of all, it's about obama who won in iowa, and the caucuses and became a viable candidate after doing so. he's wrapping himself in the cloak of obama and this is a big part of biden's success in that administration, let's build on this but it may be a liability. he may not be far enough to the left on health care, he wants it stake that ground. we're going to see on a debate stage next month where biden has to take the fight to elizabeth warren to say, look, getting rid of private insurance is too far. it's too extreme. not only is it wrong, but you're going to lose to president trump if that's your position. so i think he's got to set the ground work to make that kind of
argument. i mean, there's no other choice. he doesn't agree with her and with bernie sanders and others, and i think that's what he's preparing to do. >> also note that there are not almost any specifics in that ad, i mean, it's a very vague ad, and i think it's because he's just trying to say, hey, i care about this. this is important to you. it's important to me too. >> and we got this done, and we can do more. but we got this done. >> and i agree about the centrality of health care. what i wish is that one candidate would explain to me how they plan to get any of these plans through if mitch mcconnell is the majority leader in the senate as he is likely to be, and where there will certainly not be 60 votes for democrats in the senate. this notion that you can just come up with these plans to change the world when the republicans will certainly be a very important force at least in the senate. you know, can we have some eplanation. >> what does sanders say about that since he has been fighting
this for years. >> he says prepare for the revolution. and bernie sanders doesn't level with the american people about the taxes that would be involved with the health care plan. you'll pay less for premiums so it will work out. i think elizabeth warren is doing something smart. she is emphasizing to democratic donors, i have campaigned around the country for democrats who have been successful and i will do it again. i will be more than my self-interest. i can help a party win and take back the senate so we can get this done. >> there have been some signs that those candidates pushing medicare for all, the furthest left version of that have tempered their argument slightly. >> bernie sanders for one. >> kamala harris. >> so i'm not quite sure that this hurts biden by positioning himself in the middle. it may be that they see a lane here, and they want to differentiate joe biden with elizabeth warren on that debate stage, on this very issue in this very way. >> true. but, you know, i think the issue
of medicare for all is such a profound thing that, you know, would be such a transformation of american life. i mean, you know, was it 80 million people get their health care from private insurance, and every basically full-time employee gets it. to change that, i mean, that is a scary thing to a lot of people, which is what biden has said. and biden has a real argument there. >> he's not directy saying it in that ad,eni i think that's t sub text. >> speak of next week's debate, david, we have the full screen of people who have made it. they only have until tomorrow. i mean, if somebody else is going to hit the metrics, tomorrow is the deadline, so what happens after the debate, after this next debate, then do we see a big win knowinowing of field? >> i think we will, and i think we should. it's going to be better for the democratic party if they start
winnowing and fast. i felt there's the biden moderate lane, maybe kamala harris is in that. there's a more progressive lane. i thought pete buttigieg stood on his own. he appears to be fading a little bit. i think he has more strength than the others. i think it would be helpful to go down to fewer lanes here. so that some of these differences can come into stark relief. john, you mentioned 2004, president bush is in office, howard dean more progressive and john kerry strengthened as a candidate, you know, through the rough and tumble of that, and i think we're going to have to see that, see these candidates engaging each other, and i do think this year is a big moment for the democratic party, what it wants to be in a new era and the trump era, a lot of democrats say no, the real path is to get closer to the purity of the democratic principles,
progressive principles, that's what gives us that chance moving forward. that's a fight that's going to be pretty intense. >> and, you know, these other candidates who haven't made the debate, they have had months to get over 2% in the polls. the fact that they haven't done it yet suggests that they're not going to do it. so why don't they leave the scene and let us having a real debate, of real candidates who have a chance of winning. >> okay, ruthless jeffrey toobin. >> i'm sorry, enough is enough. >> if you've already had nuceno, you're going to have a long year in front of each other. >> don't you want to see, biden, harris, sanders, debating. >> it's hard for people to differentiate between candidates who are on completely different stages. that's one of the challenges of the wide field is sometimes you want to see warren go up against
bide skpn you' biden and you're not going to see that if they're not on the same stage. it's getting to the point for voters to start to differentiate between some of these top tier candidates, the ones who are consistently polling above 5%, the field is going to have to narrow. you've already seen some of these folks drop out, and when seth molten dropped out, the congressman, he said i think this is a three-way race. a lot of people took up -- umbridge to that, there's three or four people at the top, and that's who the voters need to see. >> to your point, we have a guest coming up, a woman in new hampshire who has seen -- gone to see in person every single one of the candidates except wayne messum and joe walsh. so we will see how she has been able to do her civic duty in
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in just hours, nearly 3 dozen of jeffrey epstein's accusers are expected to speak at a hearing in new york where a judge could formally dismiss sex trafficking charges. the financier died by suicide in jail before facing these charges in court. today, prosecutors, defense lawyers and victims will have a chance to address the court. >> i love this story.
35 years after his last appearance on saturday night live, a classic cast member is coming back. there are lots of things you can sell on the streets, all you have to do is be an entrepreneur. >> nbc has announced that eddie murphy will return to host snl's christmas episode. i hope he does the hot tub thing, right. it's the best. this will be the first time hosting since murphy left the show in 1984 when you were 5 years old. >> thank you. >> saturday night live has revealed that the star of flea bag will host on october 5th with musical guest taylor swift. she's going to be something, i think. >> she's making a name for herself. >> and actor david harbor from stranger things will host the following week with musical
guest camila . that sounds like a great run down. >> the eddie murphy thing is huge. you just wonder what happened. what did loren michaels do. >> hot tub. >> two words. >> hot to be. meanwhile, a teenager in charlotte, north carolina, is using the hype over pop eye's new chicken sandwich to register voters. david ledbetter is not old enough to vote himself. he believes everyone should get involved in local politics. when long lines formed outside these local pop eyes, david started talking to customers about their duty to vote. he ended up getting about 16 people registered. by the way, he himself is already pre-registered to vote when he turned 18. that's great. what a fantastic, great entrepreneur to figure out the need and go and seize on it. president trump wants the next g summit to take place at
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president trumpmen wants to hold next year's g7 summit at his miami golf resort. his financially struggling golf resort. >> that does not mean it's not all about the money. trump has eye popping numbers on what the presidency is costing him. john avlon has our reality cloud deck. john. >> hey, guys, look, there's an old hollywood adage. they say it's not about the money, it's about the money. so keep that in mind when you hear president trump say this. >> it will cost me anywhere from 3 to $5 billion to be president,
and the only thing i care about is this country. i don't want to make money. i don't care about making money. if i wanted to make money, i wouldn't worry about 3 billion to 5 billion. >> that's mighty big of you. so are the numbers. these are the stats trump loves. they're huge in the absence of tax returns virtually impossible to confirm. the president couldn't lose $5 billion because he was never worth that much. forbes does calculate that the worth has decreased, but they attribute that drop to deeper reporting, in other words journalists doing their jobs. all of this is coming up again because president trump sounded very much like a pitch man for his properties at the g7, explaining why he apparently wants to those next year's event at his very own golf resort. >> it's not about me. it's about getting the right location. each country can have their own villa or their own bungalow. >> wait, there's more. the president talked proximity
to the airport, beautiful restaurants, ballrooms and magnificent views. the president says this wasn't his idea, this was the independent recommendation of the military and secret service who scanned our country from coast to coast, and decided the very best place to hold the g7 was at the president's private golf resort in miami in august. no wonder senator ron wyden is calling it one of the most egregious examples of corruption and self-dealing. now to point out the obvious, holding the g7 at the doral taxpayers would be spending their dollars at his door. the trump administration has been bat tling back a series of lawsuits and successfully winning one case today. let's give the benefit of the doubt and say they will return all profits after expenses to the government but trump can't give back the day of sold out bookings for world leaders for what's normally miami's slow season and no way to account for the brand benefit that the
resort gets for being able to rent out the boris johnson bungalow. the highest rates. they can use the boost, because despite saying the business is on fire, according to "the washington post," it dropped some 70% recently, for example, after its comments about mexican immigrants, sponsoring a major tournament there pulled out and the tournament moved to mexico, ironically. that trump slump may have been what prompted the resort to flirt with hosting a strip club sponsored golf tournament before cooler heads prevailed. now would be a good time for the cooler heads to suggest that hosting the g7 at the doral is a terrible idea. the last time the u.s. hosted the g 8 president obama held it at camp david, it's secure, centrally located and certainly available and that's your reality cloud deheck. >> near an airport also, i want to know one thing, it's hurricane season when the g7 comes to town, which may explain the nuclear weapon thing with the hurricanes. >> i like how you weaved that
all together there. >> finally an answer, thank you very much, john. the first charges have now been filed in florida after the deaths of 12 nursing home residents in the days after hurricane irma. the employees' attorney say they did everything they could to help at the time. we get a reaction from a man who lost both of his parents. next. "thank you clients"? well, investors business daily did just rank them #1 broker overall and #1 in customer service. and online equity trades are only $4.95? i mean, you can't have low costs and have award-winning service. that's impossible. it's like having your cake, and eating it too. ask your broker if they offer award-winning service, and low costs. how am i going to explain this? if you don't like their answer, ask again at schwab. schwab. a modern approach to wealth management. so chantix can help you quit slow turkey.rkey. along with support, chantix is proven to help you quit. with chantix you can keep smoking at first and ease into quitting so when the day arrives, you'll be more ready to kiss cigarettes goodbye.
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while meningitis b is uncommon... once symptoms appear, they can progress quickly and can be fatal... sometimes within 24 hours. before you send your teen to college... make sure you help protect them. talk to your teen's doctor... about meningitis b vaccination. four former nursing homeworkers are facing charges in connection to the tragic death of 12 elderly patients after hurricane irma slammed into south florida. knocking out power to three quarters of the state. even though there was a fully functioning hospital across the street. joining us now is pedro franco. his parents both died in the days following the storm. he's joined by his attorney albert levine.
thank you for being here. pedro, we're so sorry for the loss of your parents. tell us your response when you heard the news yesterday when you heard four of these nursing home administrators are being charged with aggravated manslaughter? >> some sort of a relief. i didn't expect that it would take this long but the result is what counts. we were very pleased with the job the hollywood police, with the investigation. and that's just step one. >> what's the next step? >> the next step is, you know, the process. you know, the hearings and all that. and we're hoping for the best, that they get convicted. >> what is the right punishment for something like this?
because as you know the administrators say that they tried. they say they tried to help your parents and the other victims. >> no, they didn't. >> i'll just tell you their argument. they said they made all the right calls, they tried to get the attention of florida power and light, even tried to get the attention of the governor to help them and they couldn't get help in those days following hurricane irma they said. >> honestly, i don't think it should have gone that far. this was 100% avoidable. all they needed to do was just call 911. this is people that have been trained to take care of cases like this. you know, they go through courses. they're supposed to take care of the elderly and the sick people. not contribute to get them at
the point they were. they should have known better. all they theeded to do was just call 911. you know, express what was going on. >> mr. levine, i want to go through what happened to see if this was unavoidable as pedro just said. the nursing home lost power at 3:00 p.m. on september 10, 2017 as irma ozhitting. 49 minutes later an administrator contacted florida power and light on an emergency request to restore power. florida power and light didn't respond that day, they didn't respond the next day. they said the home was not high on their priority list for whatever reason, florida power and light said. the administrators then called a cellphone for governor rick scott that they happened to have the number, and it went to voice mail. so their argument is that they were trying to make these phone calls. why legally do you say this was
all avoidable? >> well, their actions totally defy common sense. anybody in their right mind knows as dominos used to say one call does it all, 911. they never called 911. they relied upon fp&l representation. as these people wept into distress over day one, day two, as temperatures dropped they did nothing. with regard to these criminal charges, i believe one of the charges is going to be evidence tampering. and what that shows is that somebody if in fact credited, if in fact these allegations are true, somebody changed hospital records to show temperatures were a certain degree they were not, and they were false and s
misrepresentations. they falsified these documents, and what that shows is a consciousness of guilt, and that's a real problem. >> pedro, your dad miguel was 93 years old. your mom cecilia was 90. we've got pictures up on the screen with them and your siblings. how happy, how vibrant, how healthy they look there. and so for your loss what do you want to see happen to these four people that have been charged? what is the right punishment for a crime like this? >> basically what we're claiming for is justice. whatever the maximum term will be in cases like this, then for them to get the maximum. i don't know exactly, you know, what will be the right
punishment. i will think that, you know, spending some time in jail, i don't know how many years, 10, 15 years perhaps, 30 years, you know, whatever is the maximum in cases like this, that's what we're expecting. and i think that's the right thing to do. no considerations, they never h had considerations for all the people that died. even though they said they did, but they didn't. because with just one simple phone call they would take care of everything and none of this would have happened. >> thank you very much for sharing the personal story of your family and your parents. obviously we'll be watching this case. thank you, gentlemen. and thanks to our international viewers for watching. for you "cnn newsroom" with max foster is next. for u.s. viewers all eyes on
tropical storm dorian. "new day" continues right now. residents in puerto rico bracing for impact as tropical storm dorian churns closer and closer by the hour. >> when a storm comes we are worried about what is going to come after. >> the whole island is traumatized. you have to take that into consideration. a country that elects donald trump is a country in serious trouble. >> a new poll shows a tightening race for the top three democrats. >> we will create an economy and a government that works for all of us. >> it's always tough when someone is feeling the pain, but we're going to make him feel the pain. >> this is "new day" with alisyn c comrato and john berman. >> we do begin with breaking weather news in the tropics that
could affect millions of americans. the national hurricane center has issued a tropical storm warning and hurricane watch for puerto rico and parts of the dominican republic as this storm gains strength. these are live pictures we're about to show you of the storm that is slowly approaching the coastline of barbados. as we know it can move veryickl. >> it's a serious concern. puerto rico's new governor has declared a state of emergency there. they're preparing a direct strike from dorian there tomorrow potentially as the hurricane it seems to be getting stronger. residents there in puerto rico, they're still recovering from hurricane maria and irma two years ago, so are they ready? florida, you can see right there is also in the cone for potential landfall this weekend. we're live in puerto rico looking at the preparations, but first