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Search Continues for Missing Malaysian Plane; Fort Hood Shooting Examined; Interview with Tim Murphy, R-PA; Mental Health in the Military

Aired April 4, 2014 - 07:00   ET


WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: But Kate, as you know from flying over the Indian Ocean in this search zone, the weather is highly unpredictable. Just in the last hour since we last spoke, the winds have picked up. It's gotten significantly cooler and we've had rain on and off. So what the weather will hold for crews in the coming days is very difficult to predict. But one thing we do know for sure, there are now more assets than ever in this refined search zone searching for any information they can about the disappearance of flight 370. Kate?

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, we'll for a very unique and important perspective monitoring the movements of the ocean, let's talk more about this. Richard Quest, host of "Quest Means Business," is here to discuss. Good morning. The search area has moved almost daily. Let's throw that up here. Also on top of that, you're going to see the flight path as far as we know. Now, you've got 150-mile track where two naval ships are converging to deploy these assets where they think ask their best probability of the area where the flight has crashed and of course where they are able to search. What do you make of this move today?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS": What we've got to fundamentally understand is they are working with the best information they have. And it comes from the six pings, the handshakes, the half handshake. If you look at the way the plane has moved down. It has come from up here and comes right the way down into the southern Indian Ocean. That is the best guess that they have.

BOLDUAN: How best is it?

QUEST: It doesn't matter how best it is. It's all they've got. And they say they have a high degree of confidence, a high level of credibility. So the first search zone was down around here.


QUEST: Then it moved 1,000 or so up northwest slightly. In this area where it currently is located, now they believe they've searched it on the top and they found no debris. So now they're searching under the water, but that's a very limited search. By the nature of the equipment, the pinger locator, it can only go very slow. So that is going to take a long time and is really, I would say, to some extent, the last gasp effort before they know the pinger is going to stop transmitting.

BOLDUAN: That's what I wanted to ask you. Do you think this is based more on refining the data, refining --


BOLDUAN: -- the information they have, or is this more an issue of the time crunch they're facing?

QUEST: A bit of both. They know the time crunch because they know it only lasts 30 days. And once the pinger has gone out of transmission, that's it. They've got it in the region from the ships there, so you might as well use it.

Now, this international group, the WIB, the NTSB, the FAA, they're all still up in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia with outposts in Perth. So they are refining the Inmarsat data. But fundamentally they are still working with the same basic information, unless there's something that they haven't told us. But, frankly, we are left with no other conclusion than there is no other information. It is the radar data up here and the handshakes.

BOLDUAN: As you well point out at this point, the search under the surface that they're going at, it's slow, it's difficult, it has almost more challenges than the above the surface search does because of the limitations of the technology. Is it smart to be putting most or all of their eggs in this basket at this point? They are continuing the search from the air as well, but this seems like a Hail Mary pass.

QUEST: What else would we have them do? To some extent, I have been frequently put in the position of being on the defending side here.

BOLDUAN: No, but you're being very --

QUEST: I'll put it another way. If they did not use those pingers, and they did not use the locator, and the time was running out, we would be the first people to be saying --

BOLDUAN: Why don't they put the pingers in the water?

QUEST: At least try, at least see. So what they're done, and you've got to give them a certain amount of leeway in all of this. I'm one of those people who actually believes it's very easy from the armchair to say, well, why did they do that, and shouldn't they have done that? Actually, what they are dealing with -- Tony Abbott said it, the Malaysian prime minister said it, the defense minister said it, everybody has said it -- this is unique. This is unprecedented. I'm going to use a phrase that may be a little uncharitable generally. They're making it up as they go along. There is nothing else to work with. It's here or it's nowhere.

BOLDUAN: How long can you continue the search under the water? It's slow, there are limitations and you're facing a time crunch. Could they -- would you foresee them continuing that indefinitely? QUEST: No, I most certainly wouldn't. It's slow, expensive, time- consuming. It's relatively fruitless unless you know where you are. They are hoping upon hope that they're going to strike something there. And my guess is that the search continues at this sort of level for some period of time still to go, then it ratchets down. And what happens then is all the experts come together, and there will be several weeks and months of intense investigation, intense revision, intense looking at the next plan, and then next year it all starts again. This is not over. It won't be over for a long time to come. It will just ramp up, go down.

BOLDUAN: It seems we are at maybe the peak of the ramp up.

QUEST: I would say so. My reason for saying this is look at 447. If you look at 447, they did -- they came back and they went away. But here, there's such a dearth of data to work on.

BOLDUAN: Richard Quest doing it the only way Richard Quest can.

QUEST: Good morning.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Kate, let's turn to the violence at Fort Hood. The big questions, why did this man open fire on his brothers in arms? And could it have been stopped? Fort Hood's commanding generals says the shooter's psychiatric issues were a, quote, "causal factor." And in a moment we're going to hear from Barbara Starr at the Pentagon, but let's start with George Howell live at Fort Hood. George, can you start us off with our new understanding of how this fight started?

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, we are getting some information from officials here about a verbal altercation that happened prior to the shooting that may have played part. Investigators are certainly looking into that as they are also looking into his mental health, his mental illness when it comes to anxiety and depression. We understand that he was taking a variety of medications, Chris, everything from anti-depressants to the drug Ambien, a sleep medication.

We also know had was being evaluated for PTSD but not officially diagnosed with post-traumatic-stress disorder. This is all very out of character for people who knew this soldier. People describe him as a good soldier, a person with a lot of values, not the person who walked here on post with his weapons and shot and killed three people, injured 16. One update as far as the injured, though, three of the people who were in critical condition, we know, were upgraded to serious condition yesterday.

CUOMO: That's good to hear, George. The information about people fighting their way through as victims, keep us up to date on that.

Meantime, the Pentagon is under pressure after yet another shooting at a military base. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel says it's too soon to draw conclusions about safety on U.S. military bases. Let's bring in Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr. Barbara, we just had on the mental health expert from the shooting in 2009. He says it does not surprise him that it happened again. The place is too big the staff is too small simply to meet the need. What are you hearing?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. You know, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says there's a problem here and that the Pentagon will fix it. Nice words, comforting words for military families, but what's the actual reality check here? This is the third major shooting event at a U.S. military installation in the last six months, the second one at Fort Hood. Recommendations from that 2009 shooting still being implemented at Fort Hood.

I've talked to a number of officials and troops over the last couple of days. It boils down, they say, to two essential issues. Fort Hood, 100,000 people go in and out of this base every day. You cannot check every car or every person. If someone's going to illegally bring a weapon onto the base, there is going to be very little that can be done about it. You can do security checks and do background checks, but you cannot check that number of people.

The mental health issue, very sensitive. The army itself says this man was suffering from psychiatric issues. They have come out and publicly said it. There are a lot of mental health services for the soldiers. Many of them reach out. Many of them do not. If this soldier went into town and legally purchased a handgun, which by all accounts he did, there may be very little the military can do to actually stop it. This remains a very difficult and very challenging issue. Hard to see how the Pentagon can actually fix it.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Got to look at the logistics, the realities, and what exists there now and how it can be fixed, Barbara, many things to discuss. Thank you.

More big headlines for you right now beginning with breaking news out of Afghanistan. A veteran Associated Press photographer has been killed, an AP reporter wounded when an Afghan police officer allegedly opened fire while those two women were sitting in their car. Anja Niedringhaus was killed instantly, reporter Kathy Gannon was hit twice. She is not receiving medical attention. We're told the suspect is in custody.

A staggering milestone from the Syrian civil war. The U.N. now says the number of Syrian refugees crossing the border into Lebanon has passed 1 million, accounting for almost a quarter of Lebanon's population. That country is registering 2,500 refugees a day. The total number of Syrians forced to run in the now three year plus conflict is over 2.5 million people.

In just over an hour we'll get a look at the March jobs report, could be a bit of a market mover today. Analysts surveyed by CNN Money predict the economy added 213,000 jobs last month. That would be a significant bump from February. But also anticipating the jobless rate will drop to 6.6 percent. We'll see if they're right when we bring you those numbers live at 8:30 a.m. eastern.

And for the few of you whose brackets weren't busted, the final four matchups this weekend, top-seeded Florida taking on UConn tomorrow night. That game is followed by Wisconsin against Kentucky, go cats. I had to let that sink in. The winners meet for the national title Monday night.

CUOMO: How many you have?

PEREIRA: I've got nothing.

CUOMO: You have none of the four?



BOLDUAN: Florida. It's painful. Why does it have to be Monday night? Wouldn't it be great if it was a Saturday night?

PEREIRA: Let's focus on Saturday. There's good games on Saturday.

CUOMO: It has been a very good tournament.

BOLDUAN: Fun to watch. I love March madness.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, another shooting at Fort Hood. The Fort Hood military post putting a spotlight once again on the state of mental health care in the U.S. We're going to hear from one lawmaker who says the entire system needs to be changed.

CUOMO: We're also going to go INSIDE POLITICS where Hillary Clinton comes strong in her cause of building a female base, taking a stand on what she says is the continuing double standard women face in the media.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Another shooting, another investigation into a shooter's mental health. Clues that were missed, treatment that wasn't given or not given properly or not sustained. Is our nation's mental health system hopelessly broken?

Our next guest says, no it is not hopelessly broken. And he believes he can fix it. His name is Republican representative from Pennsylvania, Tim Murphy. He's sponsoring the most sweeping overhaul of our mental health system to date. He's also a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve who works with wounded warriors with PTSD.

Thank you very much for joining us, Congressman.

Let me first tap into your skills as a clinician in this situation. With the shooting, we're learning about the background, that he was being treated for depression and anxiety and insomnia, that he had self-reported himself having TBI. We don't know what the collection of drugs were or how they were monitored.

We do know he was going through an evaluation process for PTSD. Thursday, Army Secretary John McHugh said the shooter gave no sign during a psychiatric exam last month that he was likely to commit violence. How does this situation shape up to you in terms of the level of care he was receiving?

REP. TIM MURPHY (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Well, that will be part of the postmortem that I'm sure the Army will look at. When we are treating someone with PTSD, and understand I'm not speaking for the Navy -- Army here, but as a Navy psychologist, I know there's a lot of levels you look at. You look at that person's background. You look at if there are social stressors. You look at the medication they're on. Was it right? Was it effective. You have to review the TBI and understand that a lot of systems that look like PTSD can actually be related to a brain injury and can be misdiagnosed.

You see what kind of levels of support (ph). And you also do a risk assessment to understand if that person on certain medications can increase the risk for some problems. They have to be closely monitored throughout this whole process. He may have had great care and failed. He may have had problem care and of course didn't respond. All those things will have to be reviewed very carefully.

CUOMO: Sticking with the military aspect of this for just one more question, the suicide rate for veterans. Yes, it's measured during wartime 2004 to 2008, can't gloss over that. Certainly going to exacerbate all stressors. But we're up to 20 suicides a day. The rate of increase 80 percent greater than the rest of society. It's an acute need. The question is, do you have acute care? Do we know how to deal with this and treat it?

MURPHY: Well, there've been a lot of emphasis in the military to build resilience, do some prevention. Unfortunately, the studies have said that it hasn't been working effectively, in part because many of the people trained to do the work haven't been following through on the evidence-based type of care. You need a lot more training with people.

Two, I don't think there's enough health professionals throughout the military to deal with their needs.

Three, many of these suicides are not people who are currently-active duty Reserve or Guardsman, but some are. But some are also people who are veterans that have left. And there's big problems with follow-up care for them within the V.A. system.

We need more care. We need to continue to do this. There's a lot of great work being done in the military. But we've got to make sure it's all thorough enough, there's enough people to do it. And in this case, we don't know yet.

CUOMO: OK, so there is no silver lining to what happened at Ft. Hood. It is an unmitigated tragedy for the victims involved, the families involved, even the shooter's family. This is terrible. He has a wife. He has kids. He has family who has to deal with it.

However, the timing, sometimes things may happen for a reason. You're holding hearings about a bill now that you say can fix this system that is hopelessly broken. Some context, the military, better set up than the rest of society to deal with mental health, pretty much any way you want to measure it; 350,000 people who are mentally ill, right now were housed in jails because there are only 35,000 beds available in the country, as you well know. Getting people to receive treatment is very hard. You can't hold people for more than 72 hours in most places without a hearing.

You say you can fix these things. You have the Helping Families and Mental Health Crisis Act. What will it do?

MURPHY: Well, it does several things. It provides more training for police, so they don't enter a situation with someone who's mentally ill. Add (ph) to the level and get that person even more problems, will do jail time.

We need to have more hospital beds. Medicaid currently has a limit on some of that. I'm not talking put everybody in the hospital. But when someone's in the middle of a crisis, a psychotic or depressive break-down, they need a place to go.

What oftentimes happens now is they're brought into an emergency room. And that emergency room may do something called boarding. They may sedate the person, tie them down where they remain for hours or days without getting into proper care.

We have to make sure we have more psychiatrists and psychologists trained and have access to the primary care pediatrician. We have to make sure that parents can have a closer role in treating, and being aware of the treatment of their teen or their young adult person. We need more research in this area. This bill does all those.

And for those -- instead of saying we will put you in involuntary commitment or put you in jail, we also need some ways like they have in the state of New York with it's something called assisted outpatient treatment. Now, it's only 1 percent of population, but it's something for those people who are struggling, they're a risk for their own safety, to get them on medication, to get them care. We need those options available too.

CUOMO: Sounds great. We know you're Republican. We know you have 20, maybe more Democratic co-sponsors, but politics still at play. This bill should have been passed a long time ago. I am willing to play the shame game here. What do we know about what politics you're up against in passing this bill?

MURPHY: Well, what's going to happen is some are going to want to keep the status quo. I've been talking to a lot of my colleagues. In fact, this morning, even a couple of Democrats and a couple of Republicans that I need to sit down with and hear about the bill. People know we've got to do something.

But like anything else, there's also misunderstandings and some -- we'll just call misunderstandings on the bill. I'll have to help them get informed and up to speed on what's there. Because there's some groups that want to keep this going the same.

Look, we can't keep going the same way. We are failing as a country on this. We oftentimes approach this in a third world way of just putting people in jail, letting them be homeless. And I understand people have a right to be a part of their care.

When you have a lot of people who themselves may not even be aware that they have a problem, we've got to wrap our arms around them and help them through this. And so, some of the system has to be shaken up. Some of the ways the federal government handles this has to be shaken up.

CUOMO: Some of the main pushback that's not political, because one part of your bill is going to start vetting programs and prove that they work before they get funding -- that's going to wind up cutting the people's pet projects, a.k.a., pork. You're going to get political pushback on that. We'll watch that part to make sure it's a fair debate.


CUOMO: But then there's the -- hey, if you make somebody know that they're going to be forced into care, then you'll chill people from coming forward. And if you start disclosing more about their medical condition to people, as supposedly in the interest of making sure they don't get access to guns or other things like that, well, that's an invasion of privacy. What do you think of those two points of criticism?

MURPHY: Well, that's absolutely false. The HIPAA laws are supposed to protect confidentiality. And those who don't understand the bill -- we had a hearing yesterday, and someone was commenting on it who had admitted he didn't even read the bill.

What we have is certain laws that protect privacy, but there's also regulations that go with it. They're oftentimes misunderstood where doctors may not talk to the family at all. And the family doesn't know when their child has a (inaudible), what medication or treatments they should be on. And the doctors aren't hearing the history. You can't diagnose a psychiatric condition without a history.

Our law makes it very clear by taking the regulations and -- and not adding to it, but tweaking it and making it very clear when you can talk to someone and when you can't. We're not into breaking confidentiality. We're into helping that be better.

And as far the assisted outpatient treatment goes, again, that's 1 percent of the population. When someone's headed down the road to having problems, we don't want to wait until they're about to kill themselves or someone else. We want to wait when there's a concern for their safety to help them get help. In New York, it's been very effective to reduce incarceration, homelessness and hospitalization by 70-plus to 80-plus percent. It's a more compassionate way than just putting them in jail or shoving them out of the hospital.

CUOMO: Sounds like a great bill. We encourage everybody to read it for themselves. They can get a lot of information about it online. We will watch the politics of it, Congressman, because this is a situation where it can't be about left and right. It's got to move forward. We need to do better. This situation proves it. We have too many examples every year.

Thank you for joining us. And we're going to have your lead forensic psychologist, Dr. Michael Welner, who testified on your behalf. He's going to be on the show today to make the clinical case for why he believes this needs to happen. So thank you, sir.

MURPHY: Thank you very much.

CUOMO: Kate?

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, as we've been discussing this morning, the search for flight 370 now moves underwater. High tech equipment from the U.S. now below the surface trying to pick up signals from black box. We're going to talk to the Navy commander in charge of the device.

And also ahead on Inside Politics, new paintings of world leaders by a very unlikely artist, George W. Bush. We'll have to see how the former president's brush treats Vladimir Putin.


PEREIRA: Good to have you back with us here on NEW DAY. It's about half past the hour. And here's a look at your headlines.

A pivotal moment in the search for flight 370. Pinger locators now deployed below the surface of the Indian Ocean. Search teams hoping to detect a signal from the missing jetliner's black box. They're focusing on a 150-mile target zone. As you'll recall, flight 370 vanished some 28 days ago. And that's about how long the batteries last in the flight data recorder.

The commanding general at Ft. Hood says psychological conditions for specialist Ivan Lopez are believed to be an underlying factor in Wednesday's shooting at the base, or at the post rather. Lopez also may have had an argument with someone before the shooting that killed three others and injured 16. Security procedures are coming into question now after the post's second shooting in five years.

An update now to a story we have been following very closely here at CNN. A rally today calling for justice for Georgia teen Kendrick Johnson. He was found dead in a rolled-up gym mat at his high school last year. An initial autopsy ruled his death an accident. But a second autopsy commissioned by his family blamed apparent non- accidental blunt force trauma. They're hoping today's rally will lead to some answers.

One of Saturn's moons has a big secret. Scientists say Enceladus has an ocean buried under roughly 25 miles of ice. And here's the big deal.

CUOMO: How do they know?

PEREIRA: Well, they looked (ph). It could be capable of supporting life, Chris. Places in the solar system known to have liquid water are rare. And the ocean on Enceladus could be about 6 miles deep. BOLDUAN: Vacation.

PEREIRA: Just saying.

CUOMO: Encephilidus (sic), isn't that a disease?

PEREIRA: Enceladus.

CUOMO: Oh. Well, now it all makes sense.

PEREIRA: Right? Clarity, my friend.

BOLDUAN: Clean out those ears!

CUOMO: Science!

Time for a little politics. Let's get to politics on NEW DAY with John King. I didn't want to mess up the title of your segment, John.

JOHN KING, CNN CORRSPONDENT: I was about to take Michaela's advice and go on vacation.


CUOMO: To Encephalidus (sic)? Where is that place? It's no good.

KING: TGIF, everyone. We'll be back with you in just a few minutes.

But let's go inside politics. And driving our day, one hour from now, we get a big report from the government, the latest jobs report. Democrats think politically this could be a good day for them and the end of a very good week for them.

With me to share their reporting and their insights this morning, Juana Summers of Politico, Jonathan Martin of the "New York Times."

Let's lay it out this way. And look, it's only April. The election's in November. But Democrats think the Obamacare numbers were better than expected. If you look at the president's approval rating, which is the biggest driver in a mid-term election year, he was at 39 percent at the State of the Union week. Now he's at 45 percent in the Gallop tracking.