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Ex-wrestler on Georgia Gym: I won't be Reopening Tomorrow; Nine in 10 Patients Put on Ventilators Die; Dr. Jorge Rodriguez Discusses Coronavirus Causing Strokes in Some People in Their 30s and 40s and Those Majority on Ventilators Dying; Results Delayed in Major Hydroxychloroquine Study; Sen. Warren's 86-Year-Old Brother Dies from COVID-19. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired April 23, 2020 - 13:30   ET



DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE, OWNER, DDP YOGA: There isn't a lot of people. Probably very few people in, say, Dallas, Georgia or wherever that have maybe one or two cases. Atlanta is a much different avenue because there are so many people here.

And for me, I have to see something change. Right now, there has been no vaccine and no cure. We don't know where it is going to go.

I look at when we start to change our land. I will give you an example of Blockbuster. At one time, Blockbuster ruled with movies and stuff. And then a company called Netflix and streaming came and Blockbuster was a memory.

So the gym business is going to have to change the way they do business moving forward. I know for sure when I open at some point, I will be changing ways to do things.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: The last time, the last week I was going to the gym in New York, I was wiping down equipment and before I sat down on the equipment and clean it for the next person. We'll have to change the way gyms are even sort of built in terms of distancing between equipment.

PAGE: Yes. And A to Z, all the way around, because we don't know when it will come back again. Until there's a vaccine, we have to err on the side of caution.

My little daughter, Brittany, is looking at me right now and my little granddaughter. We got to make sure she's protected.

When we go out and get food -- we put up a whole thing on YouTube, DDP talks food safety, and what to do. Like shopping is different.

When the guy went through and he had a bomb in his shoes, TSA was born and our lives changed.


COOPER: I am wondering what you make, what you see. A lot of small businesses desperate for help and loans.

PAGE: Yes.

COOPER: What do you make of the money that's being given out? The House is voting on a new round of funding. Have you applied for a loan or did you know people who have or have they been able to get it?

PAGE: I have applied on the other side, for my gym side. I don't know any small business that got it. I am glad that the president and his team went back at it. I don't know any small business that got taken care of. I know Ruth Chris got taken care of and $20 million gone. I know big companies got taken care of.

I am hoping this round that the smaller companies will get taken care of. I do like what they have done with unemployment thing by adding that extra 600 bucks in there to help with people. Again, we got to keep people whole through this. We got to keep people breathing and chill. But as things start to spread, we panic, that's when the problems happen.

COOPER: Diamond Dallas Page, I appreciate it. Thank you very much. I wish you the best.

PAGE: Thank you. I got you added to my DDP Yoga app.

COOPER: Thank you. I will check it out.

Diamond Dallas Page.

Some doctors now reporting that the virus is causing some strokes in people in their 30s and 40s.

Plus, in a new study out of New York, nearly nine in 10 patients who needed ventilators eventually died from the disease. We'll talk about why, next.



COOPER: Sobering headline coming from the largest system in New York. A new study says nearly all coronavirus patients treated at Northwell Health who needed ventilators to help them breathe died. They crucial underlying reason why, one we're heard before.

Brynn Gingras, CNN national correspondent, in New Jersey.

What are health officials saying?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the study basically underscores what we have been hearing of how dire the situation becomes for COVID patients who gets put on ventilators.

They're saying, once they're on ventilators, it takes them days to get off. The longer they're on them, we are hearing two times or three times longer than they should be, according to doctor, eventually they do pass away from COVID. The study reconfirms that.

But also as it is looked at, North Well Health System, the largest health care system in New York, 5,700 patients with COVID. There were some underlying conditions that we are familiar with as Americans. People coming in with high blood pressure or obesity or diabetes. The study says those who had diabetes as an underlying condition were more likely to find themselves in the ICU on a ventilator.

It re-confirms what we have been hearing and also how big the study is, is an alarming statistic.

COOPER: And an 88 percent mortality rate for those requiring intubation.

I think we just lost her connection. You can tell it is bad there. We'll try to get her back a little later.

Another alarming threat emerging from the coronavirus. Sudden strokes appear to strike mostly young, healthy individuals.


There's new data from Mt. Sinai Health System showing people in their 30s and 40s with no underlying health conditions but experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms are having strokes. The attacks are sudden but serious. Doctors say they are triggered by unusual blood clots, which is a side effect of the virus.

Dr. Jorge Rodriguez is joining us now. He's a board-certified internalist.

What makes young and healthy people is susceptible to this?

DR. JORGE RODRIQUEZ, BOARD-CERTIFIED INTERNIST: Anderson, that's a great question. We are finding that the whole coagulation pathway in people who have COVID-19 is completely messed up. We are seeing some people that had very thin dilute blood that's hemorrhaged and sometimes in the lungs and kidneys.

Now we are finding this pathway can be changed if the opposite direction. The coagulation pathway is a series of cascade and, if something goes wrong, it goes completely haywire.

COOPER: When you say coagulation pathway, what does it mean?

RODRIGUEZ: There are probably like nine steps when somebody needs their blood to clot. The have to fall like dominos, one after another, in order to clot correctly.

If that pathway is disturbed and a lot of those proteins go haywire, the flooding can happen way too quickly and it can be a lot more than expected.

That's what's happening in these people that are very young and are starting to get strokes. Let's just say, I want to be clear that a lot of people think a stroke

has to do with the heart. A stroke is when part of your brain does not receive enough blood and that part of the brain is temporary or permanently dies off. The unction that part of the brain is supposed to does not work anymore. People can be paralyzed or they can be numb.

Why it's happening is a good question. Yesterday, I was talking to a patient, 54 years old guy and in completely great shape. Healthy stud that, last month, went on a cruise and got a flu-type symptom and presented here at Cedar Sinai in L.A. with paralysis and numbness of his left arm and the left face.


RODRIGUEZ: We'll check his antibodies today to see if he was exposed.


What do you make of New Yorkers on ventilators deaths, 88 percent of those intubated died with the ventilator? Does that mean doctors should think twice to put people on ventilator now because it could be trigger side effects --


COOPER: -- that increase the risk of death? Or is it just those put on the ventilator are headed --


COOPER: -- on a bad trajectory?

RODRIGUEZ: Correct. I think it's the latter.

When you are put on a ventilator it is because your lung cannot not open up enough to get the sufficient amount of oxygen that's necessary. The ventilator forces it.

What we are seeing of people who have COVID is this explosion of enzymes causing cytokines that cause inflammation. Therefore, people who have this affect their lungs, it's an explosion of edema and swelling in their lungs.

These people have no choice if they want to be saved at all but to be on ventilators and force oxygen.

The longer you stay on a ventilator, and this almost with every disease, the less chance you have coming off of a ventilator because your body almost becomes dependent on receiving that oxygen. Sometimes the force of the ventilator can cause destruction of the lungs.

In this case, the problem is people were very, very sick in order to be put on ventilator.

COOPER: Right.

RODRIGUEZ: And once you are there, is very difficult to save people who have gone on ventilator --


COOPER: We are also hearing from officials in Massachusetts who are worried that people are not going to the E.R. for non-COVID issues. We've seen that around the country. People are asking where are the heart attacks and things we normally see?

RODRIGUEZ: I think the rule of thumb is that -- you know, every medical issue happening before COVID is still happening. If you are having chest pain and shortness of breath -- for example, today I was asked by somebody with asthma whether they should take their inhaler? Well, of course they should. You want to be healthy as possible.

Any symptoms that's not normal, you definitely should call your doctor. It is not just shortness of breath or sore throat. We need everybody to be as healthy as possible to have the greatest chance in case they do get the coronavirus infection.

COOPER: Dr. Rodriguez, I appreciate your time. Thank you as always.

RODRIGUEZ: Thank you, Anderson.


Now, three days past the deadline when New York officials say they would be able to release results of the study on controversial Hydroxychloroquine treatment. Details on why we do not have those numbers yet.

We'll be right back.


COOPER: The search for a coronavirus cure hitting fresh roadblocks and delays, as we mentioned. A top U.S. vaccine expert working towards that goal claims he was pressured into resigning for refusing to back up the president's claims about Hydroxychloroquine as potentially effective treatment. Dr. Rick Bright's job focused on developing a coronavirus vaccine for the government.

His ouster comes as we await a preliminary result from a major study on Hydroxychloroquine in New York. It was supposed to be released on Monday.


I want to bring in CNN senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen.

Do we know what's holding up these results?

DR. ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, it is such a mystery. Governor Cuomo told us that the preliminary results would be made available on Monday, several days ago, but still, no word.


COHEN (voice over): Coronavirus patients desperate for a cure, awaiting the results of studies on several drugs so they'll know which could work, including this one, Hydroxychloroquine.

One of the biggest studies so far at the University in Albany in New York. But there's a mystery about that study.

Hydroxychloroquine has been heavily politicized. President Trump is a cheerleader for it.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're having some very good things happening with it.

It will be wonderful. It will be so beautiful. It will be a gift from heaven if it works.

COHEN: But doctors say it needs to be studied first.

On April 12th, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo gave a date to expect preliminary results from the Albany study, which is being sponsored by the state.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): I think we're going to get actual reports on April 20th.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we'll get some preliminary results back on April 20th.

COHEN: But April 20th came and no preliminary results. The next day, Cuomo was asked about it again after he visited the White House.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you have any indication of what the state -- state results have been? You said that they were being sent to Washington yesterday.

CUOMO: I have no -- I do not know. I do not know.

COHEN: The researcher says he'll be releasing final results as early as the end of next week in the hopes of helping COVID patients as soon as possible.

DAVID HOLTGRAVE, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF ALBANY: We're hoping that by next week we will have reached the final phase of this study.

This study is really important and it's important that we quickly get to the final phase as fast as we can.

COHEN: So far, the most recent studies have not looked good for Hydroxychloroquine. The largest, thus far, at the Veterans Health Administration, 368 coronavirus patients. Those who took Hydroxychloroquine had more than twice the death rate as those who did not.

In a French study of 181 patients, Hydroxychloroquine didn't work and some patients taking it developed heart problems. Neither of those studies has been peer reviewed or published in a

medical journal yet.

One small study, also French, had 27 study subjects and showed that patients had a lower viral load after taking Hydroxychloroquine. But that study's methods have been questioned and the journal that published it is reviewing it again.

For coronavirus patients and their families, more waiting to see which drug might make the difference between life and death.


COHEN: Now to add another layer of mystery, when Governor Cuomo was asked about the preliminary results, he said they were first being sent to the CDC and the FDA, two federal agencies. The CDC tells us we haven't received anything and the FDA won't answer our questions -- Anderson?

COOPER: We'll see.

Elizabeth Cohen, thanks very much. We'll keep after it.

This Saturday morning, CNN is having a special coronavirus townhall for parents and children. Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Eric Hill teamed up with the characters of Sesame Street. You can submit your family's questions at Tune in Saturday, 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

Grover is going to be there. I like Grover.

Coming up next, a new study reveals nearly 14 percent of New Yorkers tested positive for coronavirus antibodies. What that tells us about the spread.

Plus, Senator Elizabeth Warren confirming her eldest brother has died from the disease. We'll share her tribute ahead.



COOPER: Senator Elizabeth Warren confirmed today that her oldest brother, Don, has died from coronavirus.

She remembered him in a series of tweets, saying, quote, "He joined the Air Force at 19 and spent his career in the military, including 5.5 years off and on in combat in Vietnam. He was charming and funny and natural leader. What made him extra special was his smile, quick and crooked. It always seemed to generate its own light when it lit up everyone around him."

She went on to say, "I'm grateful to the nurses and frontline staff that took care of him, but it's hard to know there was no family to hold his hand or to say I love you one more time. No funeral for those of us who loved him to hold each other close. I'll miss you dearly, my brother."

Don Herring was 86 years old.

Moments ago, on the House floor, Congresswoman Maxine Waters said her sister is also dying of coronavirus in a hospital in St. Louis.

Certainly, our hearts go out to both of them.

It is just about the top of the hour. I'm Anderson Cooper. I want to reset CNN's continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

In just the last hour, the number of U.S. infections has jumped by more than a thousand, to over 8,045 cases, and nearly 47,000 people have died from the virus.

We're now learning of another surprising number. New York's governor reveals a random sample of New Yorkers showed nearly 14 percent tested positive for antibodies.



CUOMO: We did 3,000 surveys in about 19 counties, 40 localities across the state. The surveys were collected at grocery stores, box stores, et cetera.

These are people who were not at work, so they're probably not essential workers. OK? So that has to be calibrated. But what we found, so far, is the statewide number is 13.9 percent tested positive for having the antibodies.