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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Swine Flu Death Toll Rises; Supreme Court Justice David Souter Announces Retirement
Aired May 1, 2009 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, breaking news: flu fears and new hope from the lab that, as fast-moving as the virus may be, it lacks the one key piece that would make it into a killing machine, like the 1918 flu.
Even so, late word tonight from Mexican authorities, the death toll there rising. It's now up to 16 confirmed dead. That's up from 12. And there are more than 150 fatalities suspected to be tied to the H1N1 swine flu outbreak.
And, just about everywhere, fear is still running high. Take a look, a United Airlines flight from Munich, Germany, to Washington diverted to Boston after a single woman complained of flu-like symptoms.
All week, we have been trying to fight the fear with the best medicine we have got, the simple facts on the bug that is now responsible for 141 confirmed cases in 19 states in America and hundreds more suspected cases across the country.
COOPER (voice-over): On the front lines of a health crisis, boxes of Tamiflu ready for distribution across Alabama, one of now many states with suspected and confirmed cases of the swine flu. The numbers have exploded over the last several days, both here at home and beyond.
But, as the virus spreads, encouraging news from the World Health Organization:
DR. MARIE-PAULE KIENY, INITIATIVE FOR VACCINE RESEARCH DIRECTOR, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: We have no doubt that making a successful vaccine is possible within a relatively short period of time.
COOPER: How short? Officials say scientists could discover the strain for the vaccine soon, but caution it may take at least several months before manufacturers can make doses available to the public.
They also believe this influenza strain, also called the H1N1 flu, is not as dangerous as the one that killed millions at the end of World War I.
NANCY COX, INFLUENZA DIVISION CHIEF, NATIONAL CENTER FOR IMMUNIZATION AND RESPIRATORY DISEASES: We do not see the markers for virulence that were seen in the 1918 virus. COOPER: At the center of this microscopic threat, a mystery about its origin deepens. Scientists have suspected this strain is composed of bird, human and swine flu. But new genetic sequencing indicates the swine flu comes from not one, but two different types of pigs, one from North America, but the other from Europe and Asia.
It's a surprising link, because Eurasian swine is rarely imported into North America. Also, new details on possibly the first death from the flu -- "The New York Times" identifies the victim as a 39- year-old mother of three from Oaxaca, Mexico.
Showing signs of a bad cold in early April, her conditioned worsened with chills, pain and a high fever. Her husband said she was reluctant to go to a hospital. When she finally did, it was too late. She died on April 13.
COOPER: The first victim.
A quick reminder, this story is changing by the minute, especially the number of states and cases across the country. That's we're continuously updating our interactive flu map. And you can it at AC360.com right now.
Now, some of the information comes a nerve center deep inside the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, the CDC. And they have assembled a team of number crunchers, virus hunters, genetic sequencers, and other infectious disease specialists. They're tracking data, collecting samples, and working 24/7 to isolate a reference strain, a sample, if you will, of the H1N1 virus to be used in making a vaccine.
Now, few people get a look inside. Today, 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta did just that. Take a look.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After five days in Mexico, hunting down the first cases of the swine flu virus, I'm back in Atlanta.
Now, if there is a place where every bit of news about swine flu is converging, it is here, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Before they would let me into the main control center, a checkup here in the medical clinic to make sure I wasn't sick. They tell me I'm fine.
(on camera): So, now we are ready to take a look at the nerve center of the CDC, something known as emergency operations control. Take a look over here.
Hundreds of people have been in here working day and night over the last week. And take a look at those screens up there, those screens monitoring cases as they come in, trying to put it all together, trying to piece it all together, trying to get control on this outbreak.
TOBY CRAFTON, OPERATIONS MANAGER, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: Everybody you see in here is here because of the outbreak.
GUPTA: What else do we have over here?
CRAFTON: Each one of those regions that you see on that map has a team of epidemiologists and folks that are working on making sure that they track each one of those cases in that region. And, so, they are literally down there getting calls from all those states, talking to the state health officials, taking to the epidemiologists in each state, and tracking the numbers.
GUPTA (voice-over): Tracking cases, looking for clues, sending out investigators. The guidelines on those Fort Worth school closings, they came from here.
But, today, the focus seems to be shifting. What if this spirals into a full-fledged global outbreak and what if we need a vaccine?
(on camera): I want to show you something that very few people get a chance to see. We're in the back hallways here at the CDC, in the laboratory area. And look through this window over here. That woman is working on the swine flu virus. All of those samples come here. What she is doing underneath the hood -- she's obviously protecting herself -- is to try and check to see if the swine flu virus is sensitive to antivirals.
What I can tell you, the early testing shows that it is quite sensitive to Tamiflu.
MICHAEL SHAW, ASSOCIATE LAB DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION INFLUENZA DIVISION: This particular virus, with this particular combination of genes, we have never seen before in humans or animals. It was totally new.
GUPTA (voice-over): Michael Shaw runs the lab.
SHAW: Are we making a vaccine?
GUPTA (on camera): Yes.
SHAW: We're all learning right now. We're -- we're doing the best we can as fast as we can, which is the message I guess we really want to get out. You know, we're -- we're working day and night trying to get this done.
GUPTA (voice-over): Here's how it works. The scientists here at the CDC provide the virus for the vaccine. After that, it is in the hands of the manufacturers, the big drug companies.
(on camera): Has a vaccine been recommended now?
REAR ADMIRAL DR. ANNE SCHUCHAT, SCIENCE AND PUBLIC HEALTH PROGRAM, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: No. We are at the stage where we are trying to understand this situation. We're trying to characterize the severity and the epidemiologic characteristics.
GUPTA (voice-over): If history is any guide, over the next few weeks H1N1 is likely to fizzle down. But, come fall and winter, it could come back, making a vaccine that much more important, and keeping the hundreds of people in this room just as busy.
GUPTA: Now, when you talk about Tamiflu specifically, there are over -- if you add up all the various doses, including the stockpiles, Anderson, there's over 100 million doses. So, that is some good news.
We also found out something very interesting. This morning, about 8:00 a.m., about 500,000, 400,000 to 500,000 doses, were delivered from the United States to Mexico. That is something that they asked for, and the United States gave them -- Anderson.
COOPER: I talked to one teenage girl who was infected a couple days ago. After she had a 103 fever, after taking two doses of Tamiflu, she felt better. How effective is it?
GUPTA: Well, it seems to be very effective. It's not -- it doesn't absolutely kill the virus, but what it seems to do is reduce the severity overall of the sickness and reduce the duration.
There was also some very interesting modeling done, where they looked at giving Tamiflu at the beginning of an epidemic or a pandemic, and giving it to the close contacts of people who were sick as well. And what they found, overall, if you sort of played that out over about three months, it reduced the number of people who were infected by two-thirds.
So, it seems to help on the individual level and, also, if given appropriately, at the right time, can really, really significantly reduce the number of infected people in a pandemic.
COOPER: Well, that is good news, indeed.
Sanjay, stick around.
Dr. Gupta is going to be back shortly, answering your flu questions. You can post them on the live chat right now happening at AC360.com. You will also find Erica Hill's live Webcasts during out breaks there.
Coming up, you just saw the efforts at the CDC to help find a vaccine, but some are questioning whether we are really ready for the worst. Can enough flu shots be made quickly enough? Is the government ready? We're "Keeping Them Honest."
Also ahead tonight, Justice David Souter retiring -- what should President Obama look for in a replacement? Text us your questions for Jeffrey Toobin to 94553. The message must start with letters A.C., and then a space, then your name and question. If you don't include A.C. first with a space, we're not going to get your text.
Also tonight, new questions about Miss California, and, this time, it's not about her stance on same-sex marriage. You will want to see this.
Plus, who in the Obama administration do you think made "People" magazine's sexiest list? Don't cheat and go online to find.
Stay with us on 360. We will be right back.
COOPER: Justice David Souter has never married, lives by himself, hates being photographed, and doesn't use a computer.
But, for the last 18 years, David Souter has served on the U.S. Supreme Court. His opinions have changed the landscape of the country. And, today, the 69-year-old associate justice announced his retirement, a rare shakeup for the bench, and a monumental opportunity for President Obama, who today interrupted the White House press briefing to share the news.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hey.
QUESTION: Mr. President.
QUESTION: Mr. President.
OBAMA: I'm sorry, but Gibbs is screwing this thing up.
OBAMA: You know, if there's a job to do -- please, everybody have a seat. If there's a job to do, you've got to do it yourself.
ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: See you guys later. Have a good weekend.
OBAMA: This is kind of cool, Robert.
GIBBS: It's way cooler than it seems.
OBAMA: Yes, absolutely.
The reason I am interrupting Robert is not because he's not doing a good job. He's doing an unbelievable job.
But it's because I just got off the telephone with Justice Souter. And so I would like to say a few words about his decision to retire from the Supreme Court.
And with that, I would like you to give Robert a tough time again.
QUESTION: Mr. President...
GIBBS: I have an announcement to make.
GIBBS: I have been notified that Judge Souter is stepping down from the Supreme Court.
GIBBS: I have this from the very highest levels in our government.
GIBBS: Do you see that the guy -- you know, he read the statement. And then he left the -- the questions to me.
I don't -- all right, well, where were we?
QUESTION: Did you know he was coming?
GIBBS: Did I know he was coming? No, I didn't know he was coming.
GIBBS: I -- I -- no, we would have put a fancy seal up and everything.
QUESTION: You're kind of a letdown, though.
GIBBS: I -- you know, I...
GIBBS: Well, you guys are, too. So, it's -- we're kind of fair.
GIBBS: Where -- where were we before we were so rudely interrupted?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Where were we? With Justice Souter leaving, the president is going to have the chance to bolster the liberal wing of the court and try and shift the balance of power. Whom might he choose?
Joe Johns has the "Raw Politics."
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): So, what's with this guy anyway? Justice David Souter is widely known in Washington for being a tad eccentric. Much has been made of Souter bringing a shopping bag with his daily lunch of an apple and plain yogurt and his disdain for the meanness and political games of the nation's capital.
He has been known to shun cell phones and computers. But what Souter is best known for conservatives is being a wolf in sheep's clothing, someone President Bush 41 mistook to be a conservative. Souter frequently votes with the court's liberal bloc.
President Obama and the left view Souter as being fair-minded and independent.
OBAMA: He came to the bench with no particular ideology. He never sought to promote a political agenda. And he consistently defied labels and rejected absolutes.
JOHNS: So, what does Obama want in a replacement?
OBAMA: I will seek someone who understands that justice isn't about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a casebook; it is also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people's lives.
JOHNS: OK, but what he needs is a nominee who will keep the court's current math in place, right now, five firm and leaning conservatives and four liberals, which means the president needs to know what he is getting.
FRED GRAHAM, CHIEF ANCHOR AND MANAGING EDITOR, TRUTV: You have a liberal on the court, Souter, who is leaving. The president will appoint a liberal who he hopes is a liberal to replace him. Nothing changes.
JOHNS (on camera): Officially, there is no short list of appointees yet. It is too soon. But the early thinking is, the guys who want the job can probably forget about it.
GRAHAM: I don't think a man's got any chance to get this nomination.
JOHNS (voice-over): No-brainer candidates can be broken down into categories, first, the courts of appeals judges, including Diane Wood of Chicago and Sonia Sotomayor of New York.
Fred Graham says, watch Sotomayor. GRAHAM: She would be a woman. She would be a Hispanic, the first Hispanic. And she is a -- a -- an -- highly respected and regarded jurist. Why not?
JOHNS: Of the law professor types, Elena Kagan, former dean of Harvard Law School, stands out. She is now solicitor general.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: But she's never been a judge. She's only been solicitor general for a few weeks. So, the question is, at age 49, whether she is experienced enough.
JOHNS: Among politicians, Senators Claire McCaskill and Amy Klobuchar, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, and Homeland Security Janet Napolitano -- a big choice ahead for the new president and one of the most important ones he can make.
Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Well, we want to hear what you think about Souter's retirement.
Send us a text with your message. Message your question to 94553. That's 94553. The message has to start with the letters A.C. and then a space, then your name and a question. If you don't include A.C. with a space, we're not going to get the text.
Senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin was given the unprecedented access to the Supreme Court and the justices, including David Souter. It's all in his best selling book, "The Nine," which is a great read.
Jeffrey joins us now.
So, Jeff, we just heard names of possible replacements. Do -- do you have any of idea of whom the president might choose?
TOOBIN: You know, I think it is really a wide-open race.
Sometimes, when you go into a process like this, there have been times when there is a clear front-runner. For example, John Roberts was such a perfect choice. He was qualified. He was just 50 years old. He had the conservative politics that George Bush wanted. He was just an obvious, obvious choice for chief justice.
That is not the case here. And the real big question for President Obama is, does he want to go the traditional route of picking a judge, a sitting judge, or does he want to go back to the old tradition, someone like Earl Warren, the governor of California who became chief justice in the '50s, and pick a politician? Because he has often spoken of the fact that he likes people with broader experience for the court.
COOPER: How quickly are -- I mean, I was doing some research. It seems like it is usually a matter of days after a justice announces a retirement or leaving a court to when they actually name a replacement.
TOOBIN: That is the ideal.
The negative example here was President Clinton's selection of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which took 87 days. I don't think it's going to take that long for President Obama. But I don't think it's going to be a week either.
There is some question of whether they want to wait until the Supreme Court term ends at the end of June to make their selection, a gesture, perhaps, of respect for Justice Souter. But I -- I think it will probably be in the range of a month or so until the president makes his choice.
COOPER: But -- but, in terms of impact on the court, there is a very divided court, four liberals, four conservatives. This isn't really going to change the balance one way or the other.
TOOBIN: We are in a 4-4-1 split at the court, four liberals, four conservatives, one swing vote, Anthony Kennedy.
But, you know, Byron White, who served on the court for many years, he had a saying. He said, when you change one vote on the court, you don't change one vote. You change the whole court. And, so, the dynamics could change. Yes, in the short term, the votes on most cases probably won't change -- won't -- won't -- the outcomes won't change that much.
But, if Barack Obama, this early in his presidency, has a chance to start reshaping the Supreme Court, as the legislative branch gets more liberal, as the executive branch gets more liberal, that could have a subtle impact on the court and a bigger impact as he gets more choices over the next four or eight years.
COOPER: Yes. It's fascinating.
Jeff Toobin, thanks. Appreciate it.
One quick note about the clock in the lower right-hand corner of your screen, it's counting down to the top of the hour, when we're going to be bringing a special, along with "TIME" magazine, the "TIME" 100 most influential people. You should check it out. It's a lot of fun.
Just ahead in this hour, though, the other killer in Mexico and the United States, along with the flu -- we're talking about the drug wars and kidnappings and murders. Up next, the story of one American who got caught in the crossfire.
We are taking your questions later on the flu and whether health officials and hospitals are ready for the worst and any questions you have. We're trying to dispel as much rumor and just give you facts. Post your questions on the live chat at AC360.com right now, or at Facebook.com/AndersonCooper360, or on Twitter, the address there, @AndersonCooper, one word. Dr. Sanjay Gupta returns shortly for that. Also, coming up, Miss California, she didn't make USA. She made headlines when she waded into the same-sex marriage controversy. Wait until you hear what people in the pageant world are now talking about.
And, as we mentioned, at the top of the next hour, George Clooney, Bono, Ted Turner, Bernie Madoff, the women of "The View," fascinating, influential people each other, fascinating, influential people -- Bernie Madoff is not being interviewed, or he's not talking, obviously. But there's an item about him. Michael Moore writes about him. We have that.
A "TIME" 100 A.C. 360 special coming up -- that's at the top of the hour.
COOPER: New developments tonight in "The War Next Door."
According to "The Washington Post," Mexican authorities say they have arrested more than 60,000 people over the past two years, 60,000. It is the public accounting of their offensive against drug trafficking, and it's a story we have been following closely for months now.
The violence, as you know, has been escalating to epidemic levels and spilling across the border into the U.S. Tonight, we have new details about a victim we first told you about earlier this year.
Gary Tuchman has the latest.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One minute away from the U.S. border wall, a gruesome discovery in Tijuana, Mexico.
We happened to be in Tijuana that day last month. And this is how I described it then.
(on camera): Right under that graffiti on the ground. Police arrived, they saw three bodies without heads, without hands and a note that said "Snitches."
(voice-over): It was easy to assume the victims were Mexicans involved in the drug cartels' feuding. After all, the violence here Tijuana is at unprecedented levels. IT's believed most of the estimated 7,300 people killed in Mexico in the last two years either angered or were involved with the drug gangs.
But one of the victims had no known connection to the cartels and was an American.
Now his family members, who loved him very much, are worried about their safety.
(on camera): What kind of guy was your brother? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was a fun-loving kind of person. If you met him, you loved him.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): The details of what happened to this women's brother are mysterious and simply horrifying.
(on camera): George Norman Harrison was from San Diego County, California, but he moved here to Tijuana, where he opened up this business, a pizzeria he called Harley's Pizza, because he loved Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
Four weeks before his body was found, three men with AK-47s barged into this restaurant and kidnapped Harrison. His family and friends would never see him again.
(voice-over): But they thought they would. One of Harrison's close friends and co-workers at the pizzeria got a call from the kidnappers asking for a million dollars ransom. Guadalupe (ph), who did not want his face shown or last name used because he scared for his life, said friends family did have that kind of money, so he negotiated a $30,000 ransom down payment. He says he didn't call police because he thought they were too corrupt.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): After we negotiated the money, they sent one of George's finger to his house to put more pressure on us to get the money.
TUCHMAN: That's right, his severed finger sent in a bag. Guadalupe delivered the $30,000 to a remote site and then got another call: "We want more money."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Before we delivered the money the second time, they sent a second finger. They didn't have to do that. They knew we were working to get the money.
TUCHMAN (on camera): The family then got more money together for another ransom, and Guadalupe dropped it off. But, only a matter of hours later, the lifeless and mutilated body of George Harrison was found near the bullring.
(voice-over): Guadalupe identified his body at the morgue. He was devastated and sickened.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): How can they do that to him? How can they do that to him?
TUCHMAN: Although George Harrison had a marijuana charge against him from 2000, his record is clean since then. He had been doing well with his pizza business, gotten married to a Mexican woman, and had four children.
So, why did this happen? Amid this state of siege on the border, that's a question that is not likely to ever be answered.
Jorge Ramos is the mayor of Tijuana.
JORGE RAMOS, MAYOR OF TIJUANA, MEXICO: I'm very angry, because they are trying to steal the way -- our way of life.
TUCHMAN: The mayor presided over a ribbon-cutting at a new little league field, but the field is only a few blocks from the now closed-off site where George Harrison's body was found. In this city, you can't escape the reminders of the savage violence.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, Tijuana, Mexico.
COOPER: Coming up next: more on the swine flu outbreak, scientists scrambling to create a vaccine. There are still a lot of unanswered questions, but Dr. Sanjay Gupta here to answer yours.
And you can post questions on the live chat at AC360.com. Send them on Twitter at @AndersonCooper or at Facebook.com/AndersonCooper360.
Also tonight, Hillary Clinton's emotional moment -- we will show you why the secretary of state got choked up.
And Miss California, Carrie Prejean, still making headlines -- pageant officials speaking out, confirming they paid for her plastic surgery. That's right. We have got the latest details.
COOPER: More now on tonight's breaking news: Mexico's government reporting four new deaths from swine flu, for a total of 16.
Here in the U.S., states are tapping the federal stockpile of Tamiflu to help fight the flu outbreak spreading across the country. Now, in Illinois, the National Guard is helping to distribute the antiviral medicine. Tamiflu is given to people who are already sick. It makes symptoms less severe, but it doesn't prevent the flu.
That takes a vaccine. And the race to develop one is on, with an important caveat. The current system for making vaccines is set up for a marathon, not for a wind sprint.
Tom Foreman tonight is "Keeping Them Honest."
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When it comes to flu vaccine production, we are still counting our chickens. Our vaccines are grown inside millions of fresh eggs, as they have been for more than 50 years. That technology is old and slow.
Some health experts say we would not have enough chickens or eggs to handle vaccine demands in a pandemic. Others say, we would. It adds up to confusion and trouble for Devon Herrick at the nonprofit National Center for Policy Analysis. DEVON HERRICK, SENIOR FELLOW, THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR POLICY ANALYSIS: We're limited by the number of chickens and how fast they can lay eggs. We really need to move to a much more advanced system that would cut this response time in half.
FOREMAN: Europe approved such a system, which uses cell tissue, not eggs, almost two years ago. And while our government is investing money in the idea, we are not there yet.
And there are more problems.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, AD)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get a shot of protection, the swine flu shot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: The swine flu vaccine produced in 1976 caused serious health issues in at least 500 people and more than two dozen deaths.
(on camera): Ever since, studies by scientists and policy analysts have found, government regulations aimed at preventing that problem again delay the approval of new vaccines. So, companies hesitate to invest in new technology, for fear of not earning their money back.
(voice-over): Add to that the ever-growing challenges posed by just getting that medicine to 300 million Americans.
And, "Keeping Them Honest," one study by the World Technology Evaluation Center funded large by the U.S. government says in a pandemic we have no assurance that vaccines can be developed, manufactured, approved and distributed in time to prevent catastrophic morbidity and mortality, meaning infection and death.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good afternoon.
FOREMAN: Numerous leaders have taken steps to improve our readiness. But in far too many ways some public health analysts say we are still counting on the chickens should a pandemic come. Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: I didn't know we used eggs that way. Digging deeper now we're taking questions about the flu outbreak. 360 MD Sanjay Gupta joins me again. He has been on the frontlines of this story all week. Today the Centers for Disease Control. Our first question, Sanjay, comes from our Facebook page. Lee asks, "Do you perceive the swine flu as becoming a global pandemic, if so, how long do you think it will take to become an extreme threat?"
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are at level of five of six levels when it comes to a pandemic scale. Level 5 means it's an imminent pandemic. So I think all indicators are that this will become a pandemic that's going to spread around the world. But I think the larger question, Anderson, and what people are driving at, is the question of scope versus severity. The scope is going to be large in terms of how widespread it's going to be. Some of the indicators you have talked about this evening and people have been studying for some time, suggests it may not be as severe as many people have been worrying about. Mild illness in the United States, could have mild illness around the world. It could be like seasonal flu just at a different time of year, Anderson.
COOPER: And I know we don't know the answer. But again, I'm confused why there are so many deaths in Mexico and mild elsewhere. And I know we don't know the answer yet.
The next question is from our Twitter page. Becca writes, "I hear that this flu strain will affect people now then subside and then make a comeback later. Is that true?"
GUPTA: That seems to be the way these viruses behave. That's partially because in springtime these viruses can spread easily. In the summertime history shows us they tend to fizzle out a little bit. They decrease in number, that's because the transmissibility of these viruses decreases. When fall and winter it may start to spread again, people call it the second or the third wave. And I think it is a message that we have to remember to be vigilant. Remember all the things about this spring and apply the same preventive principles come fall and winter.
COOPER: Another question. This one from the blog ac360.com, Dick asks, "Hand sanitizer has been recommended but the bottles say effective against bacteria, no mention of viruses. What gives?"
GUPTA: That is a good question, actually. There is not a lot of data actually on how effective those sanitizers are against viruses. There have been some studies done and a couple things sort of emerge. First of all, washing your hands with soap and water is still probably the best idea. If you are like us in Mexico or having a busy day it is hard to get to a sink so carrying the bottles of hand sanitizer could be easier. And that's a good idea.
In essence, it makes your hands very inhospitable to viruses. You put that stuff on your hands and viruses simply don't want to cling to it. And it does reduce the amount of virus that can cling to your hand but it doesn't kill it. That is a very good point, Dick.
COOPER: Good to have the answers. Sanjay, thanks. Join the live chat happening now at ac360.com. Also check out Erica Hill's live Webcast during our breaks.
Ahead, why Secretary of State Clinton got all choked up today. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: Brian Atkins was a smart, talented and generous young man, everything that his country looks for in a foreign service officer. (END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: We'll have more of that. Plus the manhunt for a professor accused of three murders. Tonight there are new developments in the case. Also more controversy for Miss California, Carrie Prejean. She held a news conference for an anti-gay marriage group. But then the group issues a surprising statement today. Miss USA Pageant go on the record for things that aren't quite what they seem with Miss Prejean, at least surgically speaking. We'll explain ahead.
COOPER: She didn't win, but Miss California continues to attract attention, not from her public campaign against same-sex marriage. Today pageant officials confirmed stories many of us have been hearing about Carrie Prejean, they say yes, it's true, they helped Miss California get breast implants. Why they feel the need to reveal this I'm not really sure.
Erica Hill joins us with the latest. Erica?
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: I can tell you how it all happened. One of the co-executive directors of the pageant, a former Miss California herself, Shannon Moakler (ph), told Access Hollywood earlier this week the group actually paid for Carrie Prejean's breast implants before she competed in the Miss USA pageant. So that's where all this stemmed from. We wanted to confirm that was true. Called the pageant this afternoon. Her co-executive director, Keith Lewis (ph) told me actually Moakler was misinformed. They did not pay for the implants. However, the organization does help in his words facilitate the procedure if a contestant decides it is something she wants to do. Translation here, the pageant will help contestants connect with doctors and sponsors who will pay for the procedure. The Miss California organization, however, is not writing the check.
COOPER: I don't understand why this even matters or why they felt the need to come out and make these confirmations. Is this common in pageants?
HILL: He wouldn't give me a direct answer as to whether or not it is common. He actually told me he was kind of surprised a lot of people were surprised to learn she has breast implants. Because in his words he's in L.A. and everybody does it. As for encouraging plastic surgery, though, again he reiterated this is not something they necessarily encourage or push on contestants but he says for these women in the spotlight and in bikinis it can also be an important confidence booster as they are looking at their bodies every day. So if that is something they feel they need then they talk to them about it.
The organization, of course, hosts the Miss USA pageant so then we asked Miss USA if they would pay for a contestant's plastic surgery. They told us they couldn't say it was never done but wouldn't provide specifics. So then we went to Miss America. They told us emphatically on the phone they would absolutely not pay for plastic surgery nor facilitate it in any way. When we asked for it in the writing this is the statement we received. "The Miss America organization is one of the leading achievement programs and the nation's largest providers of scholarship assistance for young women. Miss America is a nonprofit organization." Goes on a little bit there but no mention of what told us emphatically on the phone that they would absolutely not pay.
COOPER: Again, I'm confused as to why people care about this. But what else is going on? Is she now a spokesperson for this organization? This ...
HILL: No. The national organization for marriage. No. She's not. This is a follow up. Of course we showed you some tape of her speaking at the organization which opposes same-sex marriage. She also appears in their new ad which I think we have some of that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Asked a question about same sex marriage, a young contestant answers honestly.
CARRIE PREJEAN, MISS CALIFORNIA: I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there. But that's how I was raised and that is how I think that it should be, between a man and a woman.
ANNOUNCER: She is immediately attacked.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She is a dumb (EXPLETIVE DELETED). OK?
ANNOUNCER: When a pro marriage group expresses concerns about same-sex marriage will impact religious groups they are called liars and bigots.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: So today the National Organization for Marriage released a statement. Quote, "Carrie appeared with NOM as a private citizen. She doesn't work for the National Organization of Marriage. We are grateful for Carrie Prejean for her willingness to stand up for marriage. We would love to work with Carrie in the future if she chooses."
The pageant has said they are looking forward to her coming back and resuming her duties as Miss California USA but not speaking for the organization either.
COOPER: I'm curious as to what those duties actually are. But it doesn't really matter, I guess.
HILL: Hey, I can look into it for you if you want. I've got lots of phone numbers now.
COOPER: No. That's all right. I think it is time to move on. Coming up at the top of the hour, "Time's" 100 most influential people. On the list, the women of "The View." I sat down with them for a candid conversation. We'll have some of that ahead. Also, Hillary Clinton's emotional moment. We'll find out why she was so moved.
And "People" magazine is out with its new 100 most beautiful list. And President Obama's Cabinet ranks high. They are calling them "Barack's beauties". We'll be showing you who on his staff are on the list and some of them may just surprise you.
COOPER: Special hour of 360 follows tonight. We're doing it in conjunction with a special edition of "Time Magazine", "Time's" 100 Most Influential People. Honorees include George Clooney, Bernie Madoff, Michelle Obama and a small group of women with a big impact on the 2008 election. The women of "The View" who keep the debate boiling but the friendship warm. Take a look.
COOPER: Do you actually like each other?
JOY BEHAR, "THE VIEW": Yeah, we do. This is group is very amiable.
COOPER: Even though you disagree. Elizabeth you disagree all the time.
ELIZABETH HASSELBECK, "THE VIEW": Most of my friends and family, I don't know if we ever have a conversation growing up that everyone agrees. That was ...
BEHAR: That's when people stop me on the street and say do you get along with Elizabeth. I constantly here this. As if I'm not supposed to get along personally with someone I don't agree with. It is not an ad hominem attack. We do policy, we don't like this candidate, we don't like that candidate, we disagree on policy. It is not, oh, you are fat. We fight on the air and say I like your top.
HASSLEBECK: Or what are you having for lunch? What's in your microwave?
COOPER: So is it an act?
BEHAR: It is not an act. It is in the moment.
HASSELEBECK: No. We get everything out.
BEHAR: If we were going to carry on we would have to keep that conversation going. And we're done with it.
BARBARA WALTERS, "THE VIEW": We respect each other and we have done this enough to know we can be forceful, sometimes even angry and we say that is that and it is on to the next subject because we really do like each other. And I know that sounds - oh, we like each other. It sounds so boring, but we do. COOPER: You spend your career not giving your opinion and trying to remain objecting. Is it tough for you to be in this panel where everyone is giving their opinion?
BEHAR: The name of the show is "The View." we are giving our views. Barbara wants to do it now. Right, Barbara?
WALTERS: It is tough. There are times when I would want to say more. On the other hand I think it is very good. On the other hand I think it is very good occasionally to be on the other hand. By the way, Joy has been on the show from the very beginning. I mean, I think there is no accident that this year we are getting this wonderful, whatever, recognition. But I am Joy's best friend.
BEHAR: She is my best friend.
COOPER: How have you survived, Joy? It's a tough group.
BEHAR: People do ask me that.
COOPER: I'm sure they do.
BEHAR: I have had a lot of psychoanalysis. And also I used to work at a mental hospital which really prepared me for "The View." But also I consider "The View" as a cocktail party with guests just changing.
COOPER: We'll have more of what they had to say. Ted Turner, George Clooney and more coming up on the top of the next hour. And you can watch more of that interview and others from the special at ac360.com. "People Magazine" raising a new question with its most beautiful issue. Is the Obama White House the best looking administration ever? First, Erica Hill joins us with a 360 news bulletin. Erica?
HILL: Anderson, investigators have found the jeep belonging to a former University of Georgia professor who is suspected of killing his wife and two other people six days ago. The red Jeep Liberty, you see it there, found in the woods a mile from his home. No sign of the 57 year old suspect who was fired a day after the killings.
In Iraq U.S. troop deaths surging to 18 in the month of April. That is twice the toll in March and it is the deadliest this year. All but two died in combat. March had the lowest death toll since 2003.
A quick programming for you on GPS this week. Fareed Zakaria sits down with Defense Secretary Robert Gates for an exclusive interview talking about whether America can win two wars at once. That's this Sunday on GPS at 1:00 and 5:00 p.m. Eastern.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fighting back tears today when she spoke at a ceremony to honor Foreign Service officers killed in the line of duty. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: Three of these inscriptions are many years overdue. One is added all too soon. Brian Atkins was a smart, talented and generous young man, everything his country looks for in a Foreign Service officer. Wherever he went, he made an impression. And he made a difference. As an undergraduate at George Washington University he was a leader in Catholic service groups on campus. He was so industrious that when he left for Ethiopia his friends said it took three of us to fill his shoes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: Brian Atkins name along with three others were added to a plaque at the State Department entrance.
A health alert tonight, the FDA is recalling Hydroxycut products, it's a popular dietary supplement used for weight loss. The agency says it has now received 23 reports of serious liver injuries linked to the product including one death.
So that recall again. Hydroxycut products.
Finally on a much lighter note, meet the youngest member of Mensa, the genius society. If she looks young she is. Elise Tan- Roberts is two years old. She lives in North London. She has an IQ of 156. The average is 100. She began speaking at five months and at two she could name the capital cities of 20 countries.
The really interesting story about this, Anderson, of course, is that she knocked you off the Mensa list as being the youngest Mensa person.
COOPER: Yeah. I'm not a member of Mensa. I'm not sure how to spell Mensa. M-E-N-S-A. Join the live chat happening now at ac360.com. Check out Erica's live Webcast during the breaks tonight. Coming up next, though, the White House beauties. "People Magazine" names a few at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue among its list of 100 Most Beautiful People. We will show you who was chosen and why some of them may kind of surprise you.
Also at the top of the hour tonight, a special 360, another list, "Time" magazine's 100 most influential. We'll introduce them to you. We have asked some famous folks to help introduce you to them. We'll be right back.
COOPER: It's that time of they year again. "People" magazine out with its new 100 Most Beautiful list. Sadly the 360 crew did not make the cut. Maybe next time, guys. But Michelle Obama was named among the most beautiful. She is not the only one in the White House to get that honor. The magazine had a high praise for a few insiders including the first family's chef. Erica Hill has an up close look at what "People" calls "Barack's beauties".
HILL (voice-over): It is not the first time anyone noticed the president is surrounded by attractive people, but it probably is the first time they have been referred to as "Barack's beauties". And topping that list in "People's" latest roundup of the 100 most beautiful people first lady Michelle Obama.
BETSY GLECK, "PEOPLE": Obviously, Michelle Obama is one of the most looked at, watched, scrutinized people in recent months for her looks as well as her substance. So she was a natural for "Barack's beauties".
HILL: Washington, however, has never been a go-to for "People's" annual beauties issues. In a town jokingly referred to as "Hollywood for ugly people" how did so many White House staffers make the grade this year?
GLECK: Washington is the center of a lot of interest and excitement right now. It's a bunch of new people there. And so it is just kind of fun to take a little peek at them.
HILL: White House social secretary Desiree Rogers is known for her keen fashion sense. She is also, according to "People", the woman to know in Washington. Which helped land her on this list. White House chef Sam Katz came to Washington with the Obamas and quickly made an impression.
GLECK: He has a nice kind of gritty, urban, Chicago thing going.
HILL: He is also under 30 along with two other staffers on the list, Reggie Love, the president's 27-year-old person aide and Mr. Obama's speechwriter, Jon Favreau, also 27. The president's money man, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner makes his first appearance along with chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. Plenty of high-powered administration staffers, how did the White House feel about people calling them beauties?
GLECK: I think everyone knows it is all in good fun.
HILL: Officially the answer is no comment. But in a town dealing with the economy and a possible pandemic a little fun may be just what they need.
HILL (on camera): So, Anderson, in case you are curious, stats from people, before this issue there have been seven political types picked for that list in the past. The most recent Mitt Romney in 2002 and Laura Bush in 2001. Another good-looking fella who made the list in the past, you, my friend. I believe we have a picture. There he is. Anderson Cooper.
COOPER: OK. All right. Moving along. OK. Thank you. Put it down. There you go. All right. There you go. Thank you.
Up next - I'm blushing. A fit cat. Look at him go on the treadmill. The scary thing is we have something in common. It is our shot of the day coming up.
Also, a "Time" AC 360 special. The world's most influential people, George Clooney, the women of "The View" and more. See who makes the cut. We'll be right back.
HILL: Anderson, our shot comes from the YouTubes on the Internets. And if you are wondering what Anderson Cooper looks like when he is working out. Well, "Dramatic Anima l Video" of Anderson Cooper, the cat. That's right. There you are. Reincarnated as a Siamese cat.
COOPER: Someone named their cat Anderson Cooper?
HILL: Getting a little workout. Yeah. That cat's name is Anderson Cooper. Not bad, huh. The fish figures highly in his diet, which is very healthy. Some good omega 3s I think they have. Not breaking a sweat. Kind of like you, cool under pressure, cool as a cumber. Also voted one of "People's" 100 most beautiful cats.
COOPER: And I'm about that fast on the treadmill, too. You can see all the most recent shots at our Web site, ac360.com. Coming up at the top of the hour, high-powered conversation, George Clooney sits down with Bono, T. Boone Pickens and Ted Turner talks, I sat down with the women of "The View." All part of tonight's AC 360 "Time" 100 special on the world's most influential people, people making a difference on the world stage and our lives. That's next. Stay tuned.