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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Intensive Care; Inside a New York City Emergency Room Battling COVID-19; European Market Moves Come After Wall Street Rally; Cardinal Pell Freed, Sex Abuse Conviction Overturned; New York Philharmonic Plays Tribute to Medical Workers. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired April 7, 2020 - 04:30   ET




MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Welcome back. I'm Max Foster outside St. Thomas hospital in London where the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is receiving oxygen in the intensive care unit. This was after his symptoms worsened from coronavirus. According to cabinet minister Michael Gove that's all according to their cabinet minister, Michael Gove, who's been speaking today. He's particularly close to Johnson.

The outbreak has killed more than 5,000 people in the United Kingdom. So Boris Johnson, of course, is sharing this hospital with many other sufferers, but particularly concerned about him because of what it means about the leadership in a wider context at least.

Dr. Ami Jones is intensive care medical consultant working on the front lines joins me now. Thank you so much for joining us. I mean, that figure of 5,000 obviously frightening to everyone. But you're really seeing this play out on the front lines in intensive care units like the one that Boris Johnson is in right now. Is there any way you can describe what it's like?

DR. AMI JONES, MEDICAL CONSULTANT, NEWPORT, WALES (via phone): If it's anything like mine, it's quite frantic. We've got patients, you know, pushed into extra bed spaces. My staff normally on one side, the difficult to breathe site. And we (INAUDIBLE) up in some other areas and kind of a retread in order to help provide the care we need to provide. You know, all of our intensive care is full of profoundly sick young patients that are needing help with their breathing.

FOSTER: What is the thinking when a patient moves from a more regular unit into intensive care? What are the conditions that need to be met for that and how long do you keep them?

JONES: I would imagine in this instance and the current situation with the virus, it would be restricted by a lack of the ability for the lungs to get oxygen to the blood. So the patients needing quite high amounts of oxygen and they tend to deteriorate quickly.

[04:35:00] And so it could just be oxygen reaches a kind of critical level where they think, well, that's just put the patient in intensive care so we can keep a very close eye on them. And if we need to intervene and given antiseptic and put them on ventilator, everybody is around who needs to be. So that is quite common.

And we don't do that very often, we just don't have enough beds and we often kind of view patients on the ward and then bring them down when that point is reached. But I can understand why the Prime Minister has a lot of options. Why you want to watch him very carefully so he has all the right people around him just in case the worst should happen and he needs to go on a ventilator.

FOSTER: He's been in there overnight, more than 13 hours. And we're told he hasn't gone on to a ventilator. What does that mean?

JONES: Hopefully the amount of oxygen he's getting just via facemask is sufficient and keeping the oxygen levels in his blood is adequate. You know, there are lots of patients that don't need to go on a ventilator. They just need (INAUDIBLE) amount of oxygen. You know, so we quite a lot of patience on our ward that are probably that have the same about of oxygen as he is and they're holding their own and they're doing OK. Some of those may worse and end up coming to intensive care and some of those get better and just stay on the ward and then go home. So it really depends which way things go.

FOSTER: So the next indication of a worsening condition is usually going on to a ventilator if I'm correct?

JONES: Yes, that's what you would expect to happen next. You can't to the point where you can't really give them more oxygen via a normal facemask with them breathing by themselves and then you have to their breathing for them and put them on a ventilator.

FOSTER: OK, Dr. Jones, thank you so much for joining us and giving us your insight and your incredible work obviously that you're doing on the front lines of this crisis --Rosemary.

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: All right, thank you so much, Max Foster, bringing us the very latest on the situation for the British Prime Minister. We'll come back to you soon.

Well, in the United States New York City has been hit especially hard by the coronavirus pandemic with nearly 70,000 confirmed cases. Health care workers and hospitals are being pushed to their limits. CNN's Miguel Marquez was given exclusive access inside the emergency room of one of them.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN U.S. CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The frontline in the fight against coronavirus. The Brooklyn emergency room of SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University. Patient after patient, struggling to breathe. This morning has been brutal.

DR. CYNTHIA BENSON, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN, SUNY DOWNSTATE: Today is pretty intense. We've had a bunch of people die.

MARQUEZ: As we arrive in the E.R., the latest victim of coronavirus at SUNY Downstate is being wrapped up in the emergency room bay where doctors tried to save them.

We visited SUNY Downstate for about three hours midday Friday. In the short time we were there, in the emergency room alone, six patients coded. In other words, they suffered heart or respiratory failure. Four of them died. A devastating part of just one day.

BENSON: This is what we trained to do and this is what we signed up for. Just not in this volume.

MARQUEZ : The corridors in the E.R. here lined with those suffering from coronavirus. Patients unresponsive, struggling to breathe.

And it's not just in the emergency room where patients struggle to breathe and code.


MARQUEZ: While interviewing doctors in other parts of the hospital --


MARQUEZ: -- nearly constant overhead announcements.


MARQUEZ: That another patient has coded.


MARQUEZ: Those announcements for patients already admitted, not those in the E.R.

(On camera): Can I just stop you for a second? This --


MARQUEZ: This is the fifth or sixth code 99.

DR. ROBERT FORONJY, CHIEF OF PULMONARY AND CRITICAL CARE MEDICINE, SUNY DOWNSTATE: Code 99 is typically a rare event. We're having I would say 10 code 99s every 12 hours at least.

MARQUEZ: Well, we've been here for about 30, 40 minutes and that's the fifth or sixth one.

FORONJY: And a lot of that -- what that represents is calling for a team to put an individual -- a patient on a breathing machine.

DR, ROBERT GORE, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN, SUNY DOWNSTATE: This is definitely a disaster. It's kind of difficult to -- for people from the general public who don't work in the hospitals. MARQUEZ (voice-over): Suny Downstate is ramping up, adding beds,

staff and capacity as fast as possible. Still, the worry, it won't be enough.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But the support things that we do, like the respirators, the bed space, the bed capacity, those are my fears, that we won't be able to truly meet our patient's needs.

MARQUEZ: The need already overwhelming. When we started our visit in the ER one person had just died and was being moved out. By the time we came back around another victim of coronavirus was moved already into the same bed struggling to breathe.

(on camera): One more disturbing data point about how the hospital is ramping up right now, their regular morgue is overwhelmed.


They brought in two semi-tractor trailers to put excess bodies into. They're talking about adding shelves to those trailers now so they can get more bodies into them. There's even a plan to shut down one of the side streets next to the hospital and bring in three more trailers. Back to you.


CHURCH: Thanks for that report. And we'll be right back.


CHURCH: Well, let's take a look at how European markets are reacting to the latest coronavirus headlines including Boris Johnson's move to the ICU and Anna Stewart is there in London. She joins us now live. So, Anna, what European markets are looking like now?

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Good morning, Rosemary. Well, let's take a look at the markets. It did open higher today following on from the United States. And I think what we're seeing here is actually quite a broad relief rally has lots of people wonder whether perhaps the outbreak is stabilizing in some of the countries that have been hit hardest.

Now the FTSE 100, as you can see, has joined that rally. It's not doing as well as its European cousins, up 2.5 percent. Xetra Dax up 4 percent, Paris CAC around 3.5. I want to show you the British pound though because this is where we saw a quick shift reaction to the news that Boris Johnson had been admitted to intensive care yesterday. Now the British pound reacted by dropping to $1.22 on that news. Again, it's come back up $1.23. Part of that has to do with the dollar story, there's been a bit of a pull back there. I think this is the key barometer there in terms of investor uncertainty going forward.

As we all know, no investor likes uncertainty and with politics particularly. Now this is benchmark we watched through Brexit -- this seesaw to the pound. So this is the one we're going to watch. I think there are two issues here speaking to people in the trades today. First of all, there's a question of succession if Boris Johnson cannot lead the government longer term. What does it mean for succession? Of course, short-term he's got a deputy in the form of Dominik Raab, first Secretary of State


And then there's this other issue, Rosemary, where in a press conference yesterday we were given reason to believe the Prime Minister was still just experiencing the same old symptoms that he was in hospital for precautionary measure. And then two hours later he was taken to intensive care. So there will be all sorts of investor concern in addition to other concern I think all around the nation that perhaps people aren't being given the full picture. So we could see some choppy trade there going ahead -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: Indeed. Anna Stewart, thank you for bringing us those details from London. Many thanks to you.

And gains in Asia and Europe come after U.S. markets have the best day in two weeks. The Dow finished more than 7.5 percent higher Monday. Can the rally last into Tuesday. Here's a quick look at U.S. futures. You see there Dow futures around the 2.71 mark and the others above 2 percent increase.

So, CNN chief business correspondent, Christine Romans, joins me now from New York. Good to see you, Christine. So a very strong finish for U.S. markets Monday. U.S. futures are up as we saw all of those numbers. Nobody knows how long this can last, of course. But what are the signs to look for?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS, CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's so interesting because you can look at what's happening on the health front this week. And this is a very dangerous, terrible week in the United States, but then the market rallies so strongly. How can both of those things happen?

We have people, investors looking ahead. That they're looking at what they hope will be a peak or a plateau in both new cases and in deaths in the United States and then some kind of a plan down the road. They're talking about will you have testing and monitoring and surveillance and therapeutics and a vaccine regime at some point. And a plan that comes together to open the economy.

Now in the meantime, we have a lot of treacherous trading ahead here. You know, Janet Yellen, the former fed chairman, said that you're in right now about 12 or 13 percent unemployment in the United States and this will be a deep and painful recession. A lot depends on the health of the health story here. But investors a very big bounce back yesterday. It looks like trying to hold onto those gains this morning. But I always caution, you know, bear market rallies can be convincing and also very temporary -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes, absolutely and you know that for sure. And you and I of course talked yesterday about the rocky rollout of the federal government's $350 billion relief program to small business loans. Any signs of improvement since we last spoke or improvements ahead? ROMANS: Well, look, they put out -- the SBA, the Small Business

Administration said that they have something like 138,000 loan numbers they've been assigned and $38 billion. You know, there's a lot more to go and there are really frustrated small business owners who are having a hard time securing these loans.

But if you put it in context, Justin the past few days, the SBA has done twice as many loans as they did all of last year. So that just sort of shows you the volume here. The infrastructure, the technology that they do this on, the banks, the way the banks talk to the SBA and get these loan numbers assigned, creaky. There were some outages yesterday as well. But again, the volume here is so huge. You know, this is really a corner stone of the main street bailout so they've got to get this right eventually. The bank insiders have been telling us they're hoping things go more smoothly by the middle of the week.

CHURCH: Yes, let's hope so too. Christine Romans bringing us up to date on all of that, many thanks.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

CHURCH: Well, a momentous verdict from Australia's high court. Cardinal George Pell, the most senior Vatican official ever convicted of child sex abuse is now a freeman. Pell was released from prison after the court's unanimous ruling to overturn his conviction. He has maintained his innocence throughout the legal process.

And CNN's Anna Coran joins me now from Hong Kong. Anna, of course you've been following this from the very beginning. But talk to us about what the legal argument was behind this decision to free Cardinal Pell.

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's a stunning turn of events, Rosemary. This drama has dragged out over five years. A jury found him guilty. The majority of the appeals court found him guilty yet this got all the way to the high court, the highest court in the land. Which took just 26 days to decide unanimously that there was reasonable doubt with the evidence presented that could not support a guilty verdict.

People are certainly stunned back in Australia. The feeling was that the Cardinal was guilty of the crimes. But as we hear from the high court there was not enough evidence if you like beyond reasonable doubt. So Cardinal Pell at the age of 78 having spent 405 days behind bars, is now a free man.


He is staying at a convent in Melbourne which is where he will stay for the foreseeable future.

Obviously, the coronavirus keeping everybody very much in lockdown in Australia as it is everywhere else in the world. His supporters celebrating. They believe that this was a witch hunt from the get-go. But for the survivors of clerical sexual abuse and the advocates of these survivors, this has been a devastating blow. Let's hear now from Chrissie Foster. Two of her daughters were raped by a priest and she has been fighting for survivors. Take a listen.


CHRISSIE FOSTER, ADVOCATE FOR PEOPLE IMPACTED BY CHILD SEX ABUSE: I was shocked. I was really shocked. I was hoping that it wouldn't happen. In my mind, you know, reading about it I thought, no, this cannot happen. It should not happen. Yet it happened. So a real shock and a bit of disillusionment, I suppose. Disappointment, I feel gutted.


COREN: And, Rosemary, the former choirboy who testified against Pell, he is expected to make a statement through his lawyer tomorrow. Also expecting civil claims to be made against Cardinal Pell in the coming months. This is something that the Cardinal is anticipating and there are also the findings of the Royal Commission Institutional Child Sex Abuse which also expects to released involving Pell's involvement in his hometown of Ballarat. So whilst Pell is certainly a free man, legal battles may lie ahead -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right, many thanks to our Anna Coran, bringing us up to date on that.

And you are watching CNN NEWSROOM. Still to come.

The New York Philharmonic goes virtual and it's all for a good cause. That's next right after a short break.



CHURCH: Well, the outpouring of gratitude for healthcare workers is showing no sign of ending any time soon. On Monday musicians with the New York Philharmonic came together over the Internet performing Ravel's Bolero. Their way to say thank you.




CHURCH: Big and beautiful, thank you to all medical professionals there and all performances by the philharmonic have been canceled until mid-June because of the coronavirus.

And thanks so much for your company. Stay home, stay safe, stay strong. I'm Rosemary Church. CNN NEWSROOM continues next with Robyn Curnow.