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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  November 12, 2013 2:00pm-3:31pm PST

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brothers whose video has gotten more than 200 million views on youtube. the video has spawned a children's book. the words and fun in the song are perfect for reading aloud so you can hear your kids make high-pitched sounds over and over again and still call it reading. what does the fox say should be out by christmas. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. i turn you over to wolf blitzer next door in "the situation room." happening now, a new warning that time may be running out for the typhoon survivors if they don't get food and supplies very soon. cnn is live in the disaster zone and the first news organization to visit ground zero of the storm. plus, bill clinton puts more pressure on the president over obama care, urging him to keep his promise to the american people. this hour, the fallout. and the white house responds. and surprising new medical guidelines on cholesterol levels. dr. sanjay gupta explains what you need to know to keep your
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heart healthy. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we begin this hour with the crisis in the philippines which is growing more desperate by the hour. four days after the most powerful typhoon on record, a u.s. general on the ground is warning that many more people could be dead within a week if food and other aid don't get to where they're needed the most and soon. the philippine president tells cnn he now expects the final death toll to be around 2500. that's far lower than an earlier estimate from officials of some 10,000, but it's still way too early to tell with the bodies in the streets and the communications still very slow or simply out all together. the u.s. government says two americans are among the dead. cnn's paula hancocks and anna koren in the disaster zone for
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us. anna, you traveled to the area where the typhoon first hit the philippines. tell us what you saw. >> reporter: that's right, wolf. we traveled with the military to guyan which is the first township to have been hit by super typhoon haiyan. as we flew over, everything, every single structure, had been flattened. as we came into the airfield, these giant palm trees, every single one of them snapped which gives you an idea of the power of this storm. we were on the ground some 20 minutes delivering aid, basic supplies they so desperately need, food and bottled water. but really it's just a drop in the ocean. there are 50,000 people in that town and perhaps these supplies would help out a couple of hundred families for several days. so this is how desperate it is. we met with some of the local residents and they say they are all homeless, that they are
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staying under erected makeshift shelters that they managed to salvage from debris from their home. so it is a dire situation on the ground. they say they need help and they need it now. >> is the military there where you are, anna, overwhelmed by the challenges they face? >> reporter: most definitely. i think that goes without saying. this is a huge, huge operation that is under way and really, the philippines military has only a small handful of c-130 hercules, these military cargo planes that can get aid out. the problem with this operation is logistics. we know that the philippines is made up thousands of islands so the only way to get there is by boat, which is extremely slow, or by air. these roads have been washed out, airfields have been washed out, so they have to move debris
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so that it becomes accessible. communications is also a huge problem. when we were in guyan, we met the local mayor and he said they haven't been in touch with the government, with authorities for the entire time since the typhoon hit. so this is what these people are facing and they desperately need this aid to get there but it's a very slow process and here at the cebu airfield there's a lot of activity. there are many more planes that are coming in. there is certainly lots of aid that's piled up around the tarmac, but it's getting that aid on to these planes, shipping it out and then turning around and doing exactly the same thing. the people here say they need more resources and they need more aid, they need more help to get these basic necessities on the ground. >> the clock is clearly ticking. if they don't get that aid out there quickly, more people will no doubt die. anna, we will get back to you shortly. the philippine government says more than two million people
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desperately need food aid right now. many of them pregnant women, new mothers, and children. cnn's paula hancocks has been talking to the families who are struggling through the storm. she joins us live from the scene. what are you hearing, paula? >> reporter: well, hundreds of those people are sitting right here at the airport. one just came and said to me she's been waiting here for two days with her young children and still has no idea when she will be allowed out. they're calling for more military planes to get them out of here. they're calling for more commercial planes to help them. this is fast turning into a mass humanitarian air lift. at the moment, there simply aren't enough planes to get the people out. of course, those that desperately want to get out, are the ones with small and vulnerable children. 11 month old antony is blissfully unaware how lucky he is to be alive. during the storm, she sat her son on her head to keep him above the water level while she held on to the roof rafters. >> all i hear, many cry, many people crying.
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many people say help them. >> reporter: she lost her husband and many other relatives. >> no, i don't know where we go. it's very traumatic. it's very hard. >> reporter: thousands are trying to take their children away from the devastation and the worsening security situation. this woman had twin boys three weeks ago and is too terrified to stay. >> there are some people inside their house, looters, and they could harm my children and us as well. >> reporter: in the midst of all this pain, there was one ray of hope in this makeshift hospital. a baby girl was born monday in the most challenging of circumstances. her mother, emily, was brought in by neighbors.
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pregnant women are currently evacuated to give birth but she was too close. >> the baby came out, cried right away, there wasn't any problems. there was no bleeding. it was a perfect delivery and very imperfect environment. >> reporter: once the baby was born the entire hospital applauded. a baby bringing relief in the midst of such intense human suffering. luckily, the runway is still functional at this airport which means supplies can be brought in but as you can see behind me, wolf, the devastation is here at the airport just like it is everywhere else. the storm surge reached the second floor here. all the buildings were completely blasted through. there's a small amount of roof still on some of these buildings which is where everyone is sheltering under, and the people you can see over there, are the remnants of those waiting to get on one of those planes. thousands of people have been through here desperate to leave this devastation behind them. wolf? >> there are so many bodies
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along the roads there that we've seen in the video. are these bodies being collected? >> reporter: i was surprised at that, on day five you would expect that most of the bodies that can be collected would have been collected and the search would be ongoing at this point to find those deceased who are actually trappedin the rubble. this is of course a very serious health concern. when i spoke to the mayor on tuesday, and asked him about this, he said it's basically a mammoth task and one that they are struggling with. they are carrying out the very grim task of digging mass graves at this point in an area near here. they have 244 bodies they have recovered, 600 they know about but still haven't had the chance to recover. and they are only able to recover 70 a day, he says, because the logistical nightmare is just too difficult, the communications of when people know they have someone that they would like to be taken away, who do they call. they can't. there are no communications.
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and the lack of organization in that respect is very upsetting for people. many of these victims have come up to me and said please ask officials to take the bodies away. they have been out for many days. the smell is quite overpowering in some areas of e town, and remember, people are still trying to survive in the rubble of their home very close to where these bodies are. wolf? >> as you know, we have heard all these stories of looting and violence. what's the security situation like where you are? >> reporter: wellhen you talk to the philippines military, they say there is no problem with the security. they say it's all absolutely fine. they have many boots on the ground within the cit itself, hundreds of security personnel, military police, they have police checkpoints on the road down to tacloban as well. but when you talk to people who are coming from the city, they say, some of them say they're leaving because of the security situation. they say that those gangs that were looting shops and of course, you can understand desperate people do desperate
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things, they are trying to steal food and water but it's gone beyond that. some people talk of taking away plasma televisions even though they may not have a house or electricity, or taking away a washing machine. we are hearing reports they are now going into residential homes as opposed to just shops. so this is also a reason we're seeing a great influx of people coming here to the airport and desperate to get out. >> paula hancocks on the scene for us, thank you for that report. up next, the painful search for the dead. we're hearing from personal stories, some major personal stories from families who had to face the worst. also, a u.s. general on the ground in the philippines shares his own frustration. he wants to get help to storm survivors faster. you will find out what he's doing to try to make that happen. my mantra? family first.
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nthat's why they deserve... aer anbrake dance. get 50% off new brake pads and shoes. some typhoon survivors in the philippines still are searching for missing loved ones, four or even five days after the storm hit, and at this point, they now know they're more likely to find them dead than alive. let's bring in our senior international correspondent, nick paton walsh, who is on the ground for us. you have been speaking with a lot of residents in tacloban over there in the philippines, the hardest hit area. what are they saying to you? >> reporter: certainly dawn has come this morning, we have seen some airplanes arriving but it hasn't really given people the sense of hope they need here. we went into town as dusk fell last night and began sort of to see what is left of that city. a very eerie place at night. people living in the abandoned skeletons of buildings.
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one man we came across along the side of the road facing an almost impossible task. a dog had left him and some rescuers who where they believed his son was. they dug up his son's body and as we got there, they had also found his daughter. unfortunately for him, they still had to locate the mother of those two children, his ex-wife. this man clearly distraught. this is what he had to say. >> we don't have home. we lost our homes and we have nothing to eat. we really need help now. i hope you are watching and you see us on tv. >> reporter: sorry for the technical issue there. that's actually a woman we spoke to in a neighbor building who was quite clear, they feel abandoned here, they feel the water they're getting is contaminated, their children are getting sick. the food is not arriving at the scale people need to have any kind of hope or sustenance here and that town in many ways, a
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ghost town when we saw it last night. >> you covered a lot of these humanitarian disasters over the years. certainly there's millions of people in need right now. are philippine officials, are they capable of doing what they need to do? because there seems to be a sense that a lot of them are overwhelmed by what's going on right now four or five days into this crisis. >> reporter: i tell you, it is just a remarkable place to witness. the airport where i'm standing now already in many ways, the smell of decay, a real sense of people leaving that town, fleeing for their lives, getting on any craft that will take them out. as you say, the question is how ready is the philippine government. the u.s. military trying to assist here in many ways, but it isn't really making a dent on the scale of the need here and i think really, once the weather subsides, because it's still been pretty bad in terms of getting ferries and planes to arrive, then we will see the real test, if the government is able to look after their people here. but you have to ask yourself,
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looking at a town like this just so widely flattened, you have to ask where exactly can they even start the task of rebuilding. >> nick paton walsh, thank you very much for that report. we'll get back to you. let's get an update on the humanitarian crisis in the philippines. christopher debono is the regional communications advisor for unicef joining us via skype from manila, the capital of the philippines. you sent us some remarkable pictures, christopher. we will share some of them with our viewers right now. but the children right now, there are so many children who are in desperate need of food, water, medicine. what's going on? >> okay, wolf, yes, there are. there are lots of children whose lives are dependent on us getting support in as quickly as we possibly can at the moment. what's going on, i think the scale of this disaster struck everyone by surprise to some extent. we knew it was coming, nobody
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was quite able to anticipate it. there are people who said it's the largest of these storms to hit populated landfall ever. for the first couple days, the focus was very intensely on trying to get [ inaudible ] out in order to get the aid in. that took a long time. i don't think that's anyone's fault. i think it's the geography and the devastation, all the airports were closed. i had heard last night others were opening up. by the time the routes were reopened, including the road from cebu, people were so desperate that they [ inaudible ] out and the roads for aid getting in were completely blocked by people trying to get out. completely understandable but redoubling the problem of trying to get stuff in. yesterday there was a little glimmer of hope for us.
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i understand that that's not a glimmer of hope for people on the ground who are still waiting for assistance, but we started to get aid moving. i think the big test will be today, now the door is open for the aid to get in there. it's a very small door but i think the big test today is how much we are able to get in and how we're able to help people. >> christopher, you sent us a picture of some destroyed homes. there is some bad weather and maybe more bad weather on the way. do people have the shelter right now they need to survive this? >> no, they don't. i think 60,000 food packages, toilets are going in because of course we're worried about particularly the impact on children of cholera and typhus. but that's just not enough. >> because a lot of experts have told me they're really worried
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about a spread of disease now, a secondary disaster in the coming days that could really kill a whole bunch of people. i know you're worried about that but give us some perspective. >> it's a little hard for me to do so. we're at the stage now where i think we have a better understanding. i mean, i know late last night the president downgraded the death rate. i think that's a reflection of where we, when i say we, the government aid workers and everyone who is trying to help here, have been able to actually finally get some sense beyond tacloban city of what's happened. but yes, we always worry about the secondary wave. the sanitation systems have been destroyed and children are of course the most vulnerable to cholera, which is a common occurrence after these kind of disasters. all i can say to you is everyone
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is working really hard and we are starting to see some progress. >> christopher debono joining us from unicef. good luck to you and your colleagues. good luck to everyone over there in the philippines. thank you very much. this important note to our viewers. if you want to make a tax-deductible contribution to the relief efforts, get information online. go to and you can help. if you needed any more proof this typhoon was a monster, look at this video taken by astronauts on board the international space station. it's huge and it is a monster. coming up, the u.s. commander in the philippines needing for one thing he says can bring relief to typhoon victims. we go live to the pentagon with details of how the u.s. military is helping. and the latest obama care critic none other than bill clinton himself. you will find out what the
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obama care under fire not only from the right, but increasingly, from some elements of the left. the former president of the united states bill clinton is now among the critics calling for change to the law. cnn's joe johns is working the story for us. he's joining us from the white house. joe, what is bill clinton now saying about the affordable care act? >> reporter: well, wolf, this is the week obama care watchers have been waiting for for a long time. first, the administration is expected to release hard numbers on people entering the exchanges. that number is expected to come in low, around 40,000 to 50,000 according to published reports, even as president bill clinton who knows something about health care himself, has now entered the fray. it's the signature catch phrase of obama care. >> if you like your plan, keep your plan. >> reporter: it turned out not to be true for a small percentage of the population.
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still millions of americans. now the democrats' elder statesman, former president clinton, has joined calls for president obama to honor his pledge. >> so i personally believe even if it takes a change to the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they've got. >> reporter: seizing the moment, the top republican in the house quickly praised the former president in a statement. i applaud president clinton for joining the bipartisan call for president obama to keep his promise to the american people rather than get in a tiff with the former president, white house spokesman jay carney said mr. clinton and the administration are on the same page. >> the president has tasked his team with looking at a range of options as he said to make sure that nobody is put in a position where their plans have been canceled and they can't afford a better plan even though they would like to have a better plan. >> reporter: but clinton isn't the only vocal democrat. one of president obama's biggest
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allies in the senate made it sound like he was for fixing the law, too. >> i think we need to look at the political reality. we need to be open to constructive changes to make this law work better. >> reporter: easier said than done. republicans have proposed changes that democrats view as poison pills, and a top veteran of the health care wars told cnn a legislative fix that the white house could stomach is almost out of the question given the political climate that the administration's only real choice was to do this by executive order. a point underscored by the senate republican leader only today, who said the whole law needs to go. >> this is a serious problem that the president and congressional democrats need to do something about. the obvious answer is repeal. >> reporter: there's a lot of incentive for the administration to get moving on this. fred upton, chairman of the house energy and commerce committee, has his own proposal to preserve existing health plans which the administration says would undermine obama care.
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the question is how many democrats would actually get behind that. cnn's dana bash says she's talked to a senior congressional democratic source who says the longer this goes, the more democrats you can expect to get behind the upton plan. wolf? >> joe johns at the white house, thanks very much. let's dig a little deeper right now with our cnn senior political analyst, ron brownstein, our cnn political commentators, david frum and cornel belcher. cornel, look at this quinnipiac university poll on the president, on his handling, his job as president, only 39% approve of the job the president is doing. 54% disapprove. kwin p quinnipiac, this is his lowest number since taking office. >> i'm not going to quibble with that poll. we can go back and forth with the poll numbers. but the truth of the matter is, look, it's a pox on all washington's house because washington isn't working. i've got to say that i think we in the media are helping drive
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this. this is a perfect example of this. we have created a tiff in the media, between president obama. you planted this tiff. let me tell you how we created it. give me a chance to explain to you how we created the tiff. we are reporting that bill clinton, what bill clinton is saying which is in fact exactly what the president said. he talked about how we should fix this and people wanted to keep their health care plans, we should work out a way to fix this. this is not a tiff. there is no difference between where bill clinton is and where the president is on this. this is a creation of the media. >> i don't agree. if you look at literally what bill clinton said today, it is a little perplexing why he said it because if you follow exactly what he said, it would be dangerous not only for the health care plan, but also ultimately for hillary clinton. what bill clinton said today is people should be allowed to keep their current plans in the individual market. the problem with that is the way the individual market works now, it essentially segregates out the people who are sick. that is the whole idea about
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pre-existing conditions. it's an overwhelmingly healthy market and if you don't bring those people into the obama care plans, you have the risk they will be tilted too heavily toward the sick and -- [ speaking simultaneously ] >> one at a time. >> that could endanger not only the obama administration -- >> hold on. hold on. >> this is what the president said. the president said help people keep insurance plans that they don't want to give up. that's what the president said. that's exactly what he said. >> i'm pulling rank because i'm one of those who has had his plan canceled. what president clinton today said had the form of an english sentence but none of the content. it was gibberish. i used to have or i still have but not very much longer have a plan in the district of columbia, covered my wife and my children which is canceled. i can buy on the exchange a plan that will cost $200 a month more and have a higher deductible.
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i can't get back my old plan unless as ron says, the administration drops the element of the law that requires the coverage of everybody. that's why my coverage went up is because every insurer must now cover everybody. i think president clinton should have the honesty to defend that and say you know what, in order to include everybody, those people in the individual market are going to pay a lot more. he should own that. >> president clinton said basically that the president of the united states, president obama, made a pledge, a commitment to the american people that he is not honoring anymore and have the decency in effect to honor what the president said on many occasions. >> again,o back to nbc where he said if people, we have to fix this problem, people want to keep their health care insurance, they should be able to keep it. but that's why we're simplifying it. part of the problem -- >> they knew it was not possible. >> part of the problem is if we
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allow people, this is something i wish we paid more attention to, if we allowed people to keep their junk insurance plans that we know the industry sold them junk insurance plans, one woman said in an interview -- >> my plan wasn't a junk insurance plan. >> i think you might be an outlier. one woman said quite frankly, what i have, i pray i don't get sick insurance plan. if we allow people to keep these plans we can't drive down cost. >> either way, the reality is the administration needs to move these people in the existing insurance individual market into the obama care system to balance out the sicker people who have been kept out of the current individual market. >> that has to be done. >> to the extent that bill clinton was saying they should be allowed to stay where they are, that is just forestalling the risk to democrats because if you have only the sick coming into the new market, then the odds are high that the premiums will be higher next year than this year and you have the risk of a downward spiral that endangers the whole thing. that's why i question whether what he's ascribing is in the interests of hillary clinton. if she runs in 2016 and this is seen as a failure, she is not
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going to be able to levitate above that easily. >> when president clinton says -- i agree if people who are happy with their plan should be allowed to keep it, i thought that seems like a popular idea. why didn't they do that from the beginning. the reason they didn't was because they couldn't. of course, they knew that that is the core evil in obama care. it always included higher costs and never -- the core defect, the core flaw, the line on which it would snap, it had no cost control mechanisms but made promises that were unsustainable without cost -- >> let's not overstate. we are talking about the individual market which is a very small percentage of the overall community of health insurance. the fact is that health care costs are rising more slowly in the last few years and there are a lot of efforts in the law to try to institutionalize those changes. but it is true in every market, you just don't see it. >> in the employer market it already works the way obama care envisions which is i don't pay more than someone who is 25 at
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my company. >> but the costs will be higher. people will be dropped. >> cornel, we are still talking about this individual market, anywhere from 10 to 15 million americans who are affected by this. >> it is a sliver, but if you are one -- >> 10 to 15 million people. that's a lot of people. >> in the overall scheme of things, it is a sliver but if you're one of those people, it does matter very much. but i think it's the forest or the trees. we are putting in a plan here where we will be able to cover for the first time in our history millions upon millions of americans who get up every day, work very hard and go to bed with a nightmare that they will get sick and go bankrupt. i think that's a worthy thing to try to do. >> they have to get those people signed up. that's the answer to all of their problems and they can't do it right now. >> the economics that driving the cost of the individual market are the same economics everywhere else. just less visible. but what the obama care plan does it extends coverage, covers more people, covers sicker people and has no concept of how to control costs. so obviously, it is going to be more expensive for everybody.
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>> if we bring younger healthy people in, we do have to drive down costs. status quo is not acceptable. >> they have to bring healthy young people in. the first thing they have to do is fix that website. let's hope they do. cornel, one final note. i have been around for a long time in washington. whenever they start blaming the news media for political problems, you know you're in trouble when the news media is responsible for all of the problems. thanks very much, guys. good discussion. up next, an american general in the philippines appeals to the pentagon for help for typhoon victims. we have details of his dire warning. plus, new drug guidelines that will impact tens of millions of americans. our chief medical correspondent, dr. sanjay gupta, is standing by with new information, information you need to know.
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getting some new information about u.s. military moves to help the typhoon survivors in the philippines. let's go straight to our pentagon correspondent, barbara starr. what are you learning? >> reporter: at this hour, we are told two amphibious warships are sailing from their home port in japan to okinawa to pick up marines and move on to the philippines for typhoon relief. this will be a help effort there. they will carry the type of amphibious vehicles that can move through water, through debris. more marines, more muscle power to get that aid out to these terribly stricken areas and get it able to be distributed by philippine forces. we talk about the race against time. they are trying to build up capacity. the next step in the next several hours we hear is that that airport at tacloban should be open for 24-hour operations. they have been setting up lights and radars for nighttime around
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the clock all weather ops. they are trying to get more aircraft into there as well. everything they can do to try and lend a hand in this absolute disaster, wolf. >> barbara, a u.s. general says aid teams may only have a week really to save a lot of these storm survivors, and the question is raised what do they need more, u.s. aircraft carrier with about 5,000 or 6,000 sailors and marines heading there, or these smaller vessels and choppers, if you will, to deliver this kind of aid? >> reporter: well, officially, they are going to tell you they need everything but i spoke to general paul kennedy earlier today from the philippines, the man in charge of the relief operation on the ground. he wants amphibious ships. he wants those smaller, that smaller capability as well to get into these tough areas. what general kennedy told me is the most desperate need right now, shelter, water and food, of course, and sanitation. he hasn't got time, he says, for
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people to start shipping in fancy portable toilets to be blunt. he's got to figure out a way to burn waste, improve the sanitation on the ground, stop disease from emerging, get people shelter. if the rain continues, especially. and get them food, water and medical care. hundreds of thousands of people in need. the u.s. military forces from around the world trying to lend a hand. but indeed, they are simply running out of time in this terrible, terrible situation, wolf. >> barbara with the latest from the u.s. military. thank you. the philippine government says at least 29 nations or international organizations have sent or pledged aid. take a look at some top donations. $25 million from the united nations. $20 million from the united states. $16 million from britain. $10 million from the united arab emirates and $4 million from the european union. up next, dr. sanjay gupta has some major medical news that could save a lot of lives. there are new drug guidelines affecting millions and millions
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of americans. information you need to know. coming up at the top of the hour, a "situation room" special report on a typhoon disaster. cnn's anderson cooper will join us live from the philippines. x: oil gushing out of pipe. sfx: birds chirping. i started part-time, now i'm a manager.n. my employer matches my charitable giving. really. i get bonuses even working part-time. where i work, over 400 people are promoted every day. healthcare starting under $40 a month. i got education benefits. i work at walmart. i'm a pharmacist. sales associate. i manage produce. i work in logistics. there's more to walmart than you think. vo: opportunity. that's the real walmart.
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major medical news. new guidelines recommending millions more americans start taking what's already one of the most widely prescribed drugs. and chances are either you or someone you know is among them. our chief medical correspondent sanjay gupta is with us. we're talking about statens. tell us what they need to know. >> as one doctor put it to me today, this is sort of a tectonic shift in the way that we think about heart disease, in the way that doctors may prescribe medications for this. it could simplify this idea of
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who needs medications and who does not, but it could also double the number of people on them. if you've heard it once from your doctor, you've probably heard it a thousand times. know your numbers, blood pressure should be 120/80 or less. your bmi and your bad cholesterol level. but new guidelines released today say the last number isn't so important any more. why? regardless of what your numbers are in most cases, you might need to be on a cholesterol lowering staten drug. >> we would estimate from about 36 million previously to as many as 72 million now. >> reporter: so what are these new guidelines? if ur have heart disease you get
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an statin. if you have diabetes, you get an statin too. if you have bad cholesterol you're likely to get a prescription. if your risk of heart disease is over 1.7.5%, you're likely to gt one too. the benefits clearly outweigh the risks. >> the most compelling evidence is that they prevent heart attack and probably stroke as well. the drugs that we use for treating cholesterol are safe. they do have adverse effects. but the serious adverse effects are uncommon. >> reporter: the doctor's take is that the latest guidelines are catching up to the latest science on how many live cos be
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impacted by these new medications. some of this data has been out there for a long time so people in the medical community have been looking at this. the question is this. will we actually lengthen lives? the evidence really isn't clear on that, what may seem like a simple question. it could reduce the number of heart attacks, strokes, but outcomes in terms of survival. we don't flow if it's going to change. >> like so many people, i had been taking statin . i stopped taking them. could there be serious complications? >> let me tell you, even the muscle aches and i've seen a lot of patients who've had those, they can be quite profound to
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the point where people don't want to exercise and be active. doctors are telling them to exercise and be active and they can't do it. or memory problems. these can be significant issues. and, again, you're balancing that with unclear evidence of whether or not this actually extends survival. i think these drugs could be good for a certain segment of the population, obviously. but the numbers again, as you heard from the doctor, it could be 70 million people would get this prescription for this medication. it's really, as he said, a tectonic shift. and we're not sure exactly in the long run how much of a difference it will make. >> good report. i'm going to study this and take a much, much closer look and consult with my doctor like everybody else should do as well. thanks very much. coming up at the top of the hour, a special report on typhoon haiyan. we'll get our report from our own anderson cooper who's standing by live. life with crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis
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a mayor's scandal and a strange collector's item. here's jeanne moos. >> reporter: his admission that he had smoked crack had people shaking their heads. now mayor rob ford's head is shaking. he's been turned into a bobble head. but the mayor didn't mind. he was autographing them, just another surreal day at toronto city hall. >> we see you're working out these days. >> who said that? who said that? whoa. >> reporter: just another collision with a photographer in this mind boggling and head bobbling saga. folks lined up to pay 20 bucks for rob ford robbie bobby, with proceeds going to charity. the mayor signed the bobble heads. >> now you can see it on the desk every time. and it bounces back.
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>> reporter: mayor ford has a lot to bounce back from. >> [ bleep ]. >> reporter: at least his bobble head doesn't rant. now most politicians find themselves reproduced as unofficial bobble heads. president obama didn't ask for this. but mayor ford's office ordered his -- a thousand of these sold to raise money for the united way. some boyers are supporters or collectors. >> i'm just going to put it on the shelf right now and enjoy it. >> reporter: others, not so much. >> i would like to use it for a prop for possible endeavors. >> reporter: speaking of using it as a prop. one reporter took the robbie bobby on a walk around city hall, jokes proved irresistible on line. why isn't it called crackhead? wthin an hour of going on sale, mayor ford bobble heads were already popping up on line.
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offered for prices as high as 500 to a laughable $25,000. okay, so some say the bobble head doesn't really look like the mayor. the original mockup seemed closer than the finished product. the makers say they use artistic license to make people look as good as they can. it's the bobble head diet, sheds pounds, adds hair. jeanne moos, cnn. >> whoa! >> reporter: new york. happening now. a situation room special report. deadly typhoon. we're taking you to the philippines disaster zone. it is breath takes and heart breaking. and on the ground where survivors still wander, stunned
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through their communities in a desperate search for water and food. if relief supplies don't reach them quickly, more survivors face dying within a week. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in the situation room. four days after a kirl typhoon slammed into the philippines, the death toll is steadily climbing and we're learning of the first american fatalities. disease may be a growing threat. and as the united states and other countries rush to deliver aid, survival may be measured in days for the most vulnerable. we have full coverage of the disaster zone. we begin with anna in one of the hardest hit areas. what's the latest? >> reporter: as you can imagine, the situation is dire on the ground. people are homeless. they've been going without food and freshwater for days now. and they're salvaging whatever
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they can from the debris. we joined a military team that dropped aid off to one of the worst areas. they are baby, survivors of the typhoon. now at risk of dying of hunger and thirst. women and children are begging on the storm ravaged streets, exposing themselves to all sorts of danger. in a damaged hospital, a shell-shocked mother cradles her baby and cries. all she can say over and over again is i want to go home. the philippines government says more than 2 million people need food aid. nearly 300,000 of them are pregnant women or new mothers. a u.s. general on the ground warns that in a week these people may be dead if help doesn't come soon. >> food. we want food. tents. everything. everything's gone. we need help. >> reporter: this is the
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township in an eastern province. the first community hit by typhoon haiyan. almost everyone is homeless. 100% damaged. any buildings left standing? >> it was all dead, collapsed. >> reporter: we flew on a cargo plane carrying soldiers and life-saving supplies. they have an enormous job ahead. we have just landed at the airfield. and as can you see, all around us, these enormous palm trees have been snapped like twigs. everything has been flattened. so many filipinos across the disaster zone have lost everything. they have nowhere to go. many foreigners are des trat to leave or at least get in touch with their loved ones back home. >> i've got to go tell my family i'm alive. there's no communication here at all. >> reporter: u.s. forces are on
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the ground in the hardest hit areas planning to conduct a search and rescue mission and more help is coming. but after four days, they know they could be facing a recovery operation. whatever the final death toll, this country and its people are scarred by a storm more powerful and terrifying than anything they've seen in their lives. >> very scary. the sound was like, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah! >> reporter: absolutely terrifying for the people who survived those horrors. in the last minute, a c-130 hercules has landed. these people are injured, sick, pregnant. they are people who need to get out of the devastated, hard-hit towns. so this is an operation that really is unfolding. there's aid and supplies that are packed up here at the, along the tarmac, but the problem is
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getting it out to the people who need it. it's all about logistics, wolf, and at the moment things are moving quite slowly. >> anna coren on the scene for us. thank you. let's get an update on the scale of this disaster and the relief effort. and the ambassador is joining us from the embassy here in washington. embassy, our deepest, deepest condolences. a lot of deaths in the philippines. do you have a number yet? do we know how many people were killed? >> yes, first, let me thank you for the words of concern. and the condolences that you've expressed. the official death toll that we've received from the national disaster risk reduction management council, which is the official government agency overseeing the disaster relief operations is 1,798 people dead.
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but 2,842 were injured. and 82 missing. this is as of yesterday or as of last night. >> what's the most important thing, embasambassador, you nee right now? >> well, based on the reports we got last night, there's still a shortage of food, drinking water, medicine, particularly antibiotics and temporary shelters. because, as you know, about 600,000 people were displaced out of their homes. as many homes were, were washed away or flattened. so shelter, temporary shelter is very much needed. they are in evacuation centers, but evacuation centers are also very, very crowded. so the efforts are to bring what
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is needed, like food, water, as quickly as possible. but there are also ep countering challenges in terms of the logistics, because as i said, the airport does not have the normal navigational equipment with. so when the weather is bad, and as you know, that region has continued to experience bad weather. the aircraft cannot land. >> we've heard from the united nations, ambassador, that about 2.5 million people are in desperate need of food and water and medicine right now. but lodgistically, the roads are destroyed. there are not enough trucks, not enough people to deliver this kind of badly needed food, water and medicine. how do you fix that? >> well, this is why the arrival of those helicopters will be a big boost, because the aircraft
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carrier has a number of helicopters that can be used to deliver food, water and so on. as well as the other aircraft that they are, that they have on the aircraft carrier. of course, the philippine air force is making use of whatever helicopters that we have, but they're not enough. private corporations are also providing their own aircraft that can be used. but, again, it's not enough. considering the huge need for, for food, water and shelter. >> ambassador, thank you so much for joining us. and good luck to all the people in the philippines. >> well, thank you very much, too, wolf, for giving me this opportunity. just ahead, a race against time to save survivors. the most vulnerable among them may have only days to live. i'll speak with our own dr. sanjay gupta.
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and is global warming to blame for this super typhoon? a c-130 has just landed with badly needed supplies at the cebu airfield. they are on the ground. they're trying to get these supplies to badly needed folks out there. this is a desperate situation that's unfolding. [ male announcer ] how can power consumption in china, impact wool exports from new zealand, textile production in spain, and the use of medical technology in the u.s.? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy. it's just one reason over 70% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment information, risks, fees and expenses to read and consider carefully before investing. may have only days to live. out there. ee, i knew testosteroe could affect sex drive, but not energy or even my mood. that's when i talked with my doctor.
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correspondent dr. sanjay gupta is joining us now. you've covered a lot of these horrendous stories after these natural disasters if you will. what kind of problems potentially are the folks in the philippines facing right now? >> the basics really do apply, especially in the first several days after something like this. no surprise there, wolf. we've seen this in many places around the world, but simply getting drinkable water to people is of high concern, trying to prevent diseases which typically, thankfully aren't as big a problem as people might expect and obviously treating the wounded. what is so staggering, and i remember this from haiti not too long ago, if you have the supplies that have gotten into the country, and we're hearing a lot of headlines about that, simply getting them to people who need them, and they may be just literally thousands of feet away, can sometimes pose a real challenge. so getting the supplies to the country is only part of the battle. and really distributing after that becomes just about
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everything. so that's probably what's going on now. so much rubble on the road, simply navigating from point a to point b a challenge. you have assessment teams trying to figure out how to get the preciously needed supplies to where they're needed. >> and it's dangerous because of airborne disease, waterborne disease. so many hospitals have been destroyed in these affected areas. it sounds like a potential second disaster in the works. >> when you think about what's happening here, people often focus on the number of people who have died as one thing. but there's really three groups of people, people who have died, people who survived and are fine, have what they need, and then a very large population in the middle. consider those the vulnerable population. and just to your point, the size of that population is really the most crucial number when you're evaluating a situation like that. who are these vulnerable people? they are alive, but within the
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next five to seven days, within a couple days, unless they get those supply, they are going to die. they are going to pass away from this. that's the key. again, infectious disease is a very understandable concern, but probably not as big a concern as people think. you want to vaccinate if necessary, provide antibiotics, those types of things, but not at the expense of that's any of these basics, wolf. >> sanjay gupta, thanks very much for that report. >> you got it, wolf, anytime. violent storms often batter the philippines, but this killer typhoon may be the most powerful in history. here's the question. is climate change to blame? brian todd has been looking into this part of the story. he's joining us live from noaa. what do they say? >> reporter: experts here do not believe the climate change creates a greater number of storms, but they do say global
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warming could make the storms more intense. he's the philippines delegate to the u.n. climate change conference. he also happens to be from tacloban. as he spoke at the conference, he said he's in agony over the uncertain fate of his relatives, and he couldn't contain his yes motions. >> i speak, speak for the countless people who will no longer be able to speak for themselves and the devastation. it's staggering. i struggle to find words, even, for the images that we see on the news coverage, and i struggle to find words to describe how i feel about the losses. >> reporter: he says he'll go on a hunger strike until a meaningful outcome to climate change is in sight. he believes the intensity of this typhoon is the result of global warming which many
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scientists believe is a man-made problem. luis says there could be a link queen climate change and these storms. >> there is not necessarily an increasing number of storms, there's mixed results there that we're seeing more intense storms. >> reporter: he is director of the national weather service. i spoke to him next to a new display called science on a sphere, a digitally enhanced globe at noaa's headquarters. he says the water in the pacific's been getting warmer for the past couple of decades. the warmer water and the sheer volume of water in that region fuel the energy of typhoons. scientists say single weather events like typhoon haiyan cannot be conclusively linked to global warming, but there's at least one lethal factor caused by climate change. >> the fact that the sea levels are rising means that as you get these types of storm systems, you will be driving more water
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towards land. and that increases the vulnerability of a larger number of people living right along the coast. in the low-lying areas. >> reporter: so what can we all do about those rising surface temperatures and sea levels? he says in the immediate, authorities in those regions simply have to develop better communications and evacuation plans, especially in low-lying areas like that region of the philippines. >> all right, brian, thank you. up next, utter desperation in the disaster zone. anderson cooper is standing by live. we'll get his report when we come back. my asthma's under control. i get out a lot... except when it's too cold. like the last three weekends.
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simply wander, through streets where little is left standing. they face huge obstacles. our own anderson cooper is one of the hardest hit arias of tacloban. what are you seeing there? what's the situation there underground? >> reporter: there's a lot of disorganization. i heard you talking to dr. sanjay gupta earlier. i was just at a clinic here at the tacloban airport which is the point everybody converges on. according to patients there, it's the only hospital left in this area still willing to see patients. they're overdevel they're overdevelop. ed. you would think they would be swell supplied. but there are only two flights out every day.
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it is a desperate situation for people in tacloban, in the surrounding areas. you go into some of these neighborhoods, and there are people as you said, just wandering around, searching for their dead children. i met a woman who lost six children. she found the bodies of three of them. she covered them up as best she could, but she's still looking for three of other her children. and everybody you talk to seems has lost somebody. >> it's day five since this typhoon hit and everyone seems to be trying to help. there's an international presence there, but aid getting to folks seems to be very, very slow. and lives are on the line right now. what's the biggest problem in getting this assistance to the folks out there, not even far from the airport where you are? >> reporter: well, i mean, i think on the philippines side, there's certainly disorganization, in terms of the overall effort. i mean, there's not, you go into neighborhoods, there's not feeding centers set up. there's not a grid, block by
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block search for lost people, for people to even recover dead bodies. there's dead bodies laying all around. and you see them, you smell them. in japan just a day or two after the tsunami, i remember seeing japanese defense forces going systematically, block by block, you know, street by street, searching for human remains. we don't see any of that here. at the airport, there is a philippines military presence of supplies are coming in. the marines are here. they're hoping to get this airport up and running on a 24 hour basis. that would be a big help, but that didn't help. last night there were no flights in in the overnight hours. more flights are starting to come in today. the organization is ramping up, but it's not there yet. and people are suffering. >> we were told earlier, there are still bodies lying around that haven't even been collected yet. and the disease, the airborne disease, the water disease, there's a potential for a real
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nightmare. >> reporter: well, yeah. as sanjay said, often those concerns about secondary disease from bodies, that's often overstated. but there certainly, there's a lot of walking wounded. and you certainly see a lot of fatalities here. i've seen probably 15 or so just in a two hour walk in the surrounding area from where i am. and there are people actively searching for their entire families who they saw swept away and they know are dead. they just simply can't find the bodies. and they're not getting any help in that search. it's mothers looking for their dead children all by themselves, wandering around, trying to lift up branches, corrugated tin to see if their child is buried underneath. >> has power been restored to those areas? are people able to make phone calls? are cell phones working? >> reporter: no. no. there's no cell service. there's no power. you know, some, the philippine
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military, they have generators, but out in the neighborhoods there's nothing. there's no place for people to stay. they're sheltering under pieces of tin. there's not, there's not enough food. there's not enough water. even at the clinic here at the airport, they are short of food and water. i mean, that's how bad it is. that's literally right over there, right underneath the tower. i just talked to the doctor there. they're short of food and water at the airport. this is the one place you would think there would be plenty of that. that doctor says there's not. >> i know, anderson, you're going to have a special report on ac 360 coming up. we're looking forward to your eyewitness account of what's going on, anderson, thanks very much. that's it for me. thanks very much for watching. crossfire starts right now. tonight, on crossfire, obama care numbers games. how many people are signing up?
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how long until the website's working right? what do the latest polls and one expresident have to say? on the left stephanie cutter, on the right newt gingrich in the crossfire tom hartman and bill crystal. taking the pulse of obama care. do the numbers add up to trouble? tonight on crossfire. welcome to crossfire. i'm stephanie cutter on the left. >> i'm newt gingrich on the right. in the crossfire tonight, a talk radio host and the editor of the weekly standard. today we are seeing something truly remarkable in the democratic party. both former president bill clinton and the second ranking democrat in the senate are talking about reopening obama care and basically forcing president obama to keep his promise that if you like the insurance that you've got, you can keep it.
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listen to this -- >> we need to look at the political reality. we need to be open to constructive changes to make this law work better. >> 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. >> what makes bill clinton's statement so shocking is it comes from someone who's talked long and thus yasically in obama's favor, and in all fairness he still favors obama care, but now he's admitting that this president has a big problem with his credibility. and remember, this is a guy who knows all about credibility problems. >> well, putting aside your comment about president clinton having credibility problems. we know what happened the last time people went after president clinton on credibility problems. they lefte lost credibility. you left out