Return to Transcripts main page


Plane Crash in Pakistan; Doctor Apologies to Patients Families; Yo-Yo Am Performs in Honor of those Lost. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired May 22, 2020 - 08:30   ET



MARY SCHIAVO, CNN TRANSPORTATION ANALYST: Very close to the ground. So this footage, if accurate, would be recording some of this flight's last moments and would suggest indeed as the pilots are reported to have said the controller that they had engine problems. It looks like the plane had lost its power and was coming in pretty fast still for reduced power, but straight and level. So it would have, at least from this footage, looked like it flew right into the ground.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Of course we're trying to figure out if there are any survivors, as well as any casualties on the ground. This is a crowded neighborhood where it crashed and we see apartment buildings. But if it -- if it was having trouble at 525 feet, does that tell you that there could be survivors on the plane?

SCHIAVO: Well, you know (INAUDIBLE) survive a crash. Every year the statistics go up for it. And there have been cases where a few people, where you have an impact, you know, starting with the nose, where you haven't fallen sort of flat from the sky like a leaf, where you've impacted the ground with some forward motion, there have been survivors in the tail. But here with the fire, that looks highly, highly unlikely. I mean, you know, everyone can always hope and pray for survivors, but it looks really unlikely in this case because of the vast amount of fire on the plane. It's completely broken apart.

There is one shot circulating of one of the engines, which is very interesting and this is -- this is a really long shot, but when you have a crash with the engines turning, you see the fan blades and the turbine blades are very bent and destroyed. And they aren't in this picture. So perhaps the other engine was still running. But there are a lot of shots that give some interesting clues out there on the Internet.

CAMEROTA: Mary, we really appreciate your analysis, as always. Thank you very much.

We'll bring our viewers more as soon as we have it.

Now back to coronavirus, because a critical care doctor has a message for the family members of her patients. She says, I'm sorry. She shares her apology and why, next.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, we do have breaking news.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just issued a statement condemning China's controversial proposal to impose sweeping national security laws for Hong Kong. This is essentially China taking away some of the remaining independence that the city state has. Pompeo's statement says, quote, the decision to bypass Hong Kong's well-established legislative processes and ignore the will of the people of Hong Kong would be a death knell for the high degree of autonomy Beijing promised for Hong Kong under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a U.N.-filed agreement. The United States strongly urges Beijing to reconsider its disastrous proposal.

Again, that statement from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. We're waiting to hear directly from the president on this. And it will be very interesting to see how the president not just addresses the issue, but also President Xi of China's responsibility for this decision. So that's what we're watching for over the next few minutes, Alisyn.


Meanwhile, our next guest is a doctor on the front lines of this pandemic who has seen, of course, how devastating this has been on family members of her patients. And she's just written an open letter it the family members in which she apologizes.

Joining us now is Dr. Daniela Lamas. She's a critical care doctor at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

Doctor, great to see you.

What do you have to apologize for?

DR. DANIELA LAMAS, PULMONARY AND CRITICAL CARE, BRIGHAM AND WOMEN'S HOSPITAL: Yes. So the content really of this piece which I wrote as a letter was inspired by or sparked by my feelings about our visitor policy. And about two months ago now my hospital, along with hospitals throughout the country, changed our rules so that we can't really have any visitors, except at the very extreme, sort of the end of life or at a birth.

And those policies made sense at the time and two months on, you know, we're -- we're thinking and I've begun to think that it's really time for us it re-evaluate these policies. And so I feel as though inadvertently and with the best of intentions we've done harm to our patients and their families due to these policies and I wanted to let them know that we feel that.

CAMEROTA: And what could you have done differently? I mean those policies were put in place to protect the family members from contracting Covid-19 themselves. And so what could you have done differently? LAMAS: Yes. I'm not sure really that we could have done anything

differently at the outset. You know, I think that safety was our primary goal. But with that goal to protect came some sacrificing of humanity. And we apologized for so many things that are not our fault that we couldn't have done differently. I say that I'm sorry to a family when a patient died, even if we have done everything that humans could possibly do. And so this apology really was in that vein, was acknowledging a loss.

CAMEROTA: I'm just going to read a portion of your open letter to the families. You say, I hope I held the iPad still enough so that it didn't shake while you were saying the things you would regret not saying. I wanted you it feel as though you were alone in that room, to forget for a moment that your surreal farewell was being facilitated by a doctor you had never met who was also thinking of her own parents and hoping the seal on her N-95 was tight enough.

So, now, I mean, in hindsight, with the wisdom that you and the hospital have gained, you would allow family members in to that room at the end of life?

LAMAS: In hindsight, perhaps at those times, the time where there was only one family member allowed or no families at all in some hospitals where we're holding these iPads and biohazard bags, perhaps that's the only thing that we could do to keep everybody safe. And I'm not saying that our policy at that time were a mistake, but now, as we begin to sort of ease to some new degree of normality in our daily lives, I think that in hospitals too, and in mine in particularly, we've started to relax some policies.


And I think it's time for us to really focus in on how we can bring people back because they're not just visitors, often family members are really an essential part of our patient's care.

CAMEROTA: I mean this has been one of the particularly tragic elements of this incredibly tragic story, and that is that people have died alone.


CAMEROTA: People have died alone. And as you point out so well in that letter, they have to say their final farewells through some sort of device, which, you know, can obviously feel inhuman.

You say at times you felt caught in a dystopian bureaucratic nightmare. I mean that does sound horrible. And I know that you're not throwing your hospital under the bus. They were trying to keep everybody safe. But do you think that going forward, since people are still getting sick, you will see more family members at the bedside?

LAMAS: I think we will see more family members at the bedside going forward. Already in my hospital we've shifted from one person at the very end of life to two people now, up to sort of 72 or so anticipated hours. Clearly we can never prognosticate that specifically before -- at a person's end of life. And so there's more flexibility in that. Three days is flexible. We can't know exactly how things will pass. It really means when somebody is very sick, they can have a couple of family members each day.

And I think that that in our hospital is a significant shift. And it points to an increasing flexibility as we understand that -- that at each juncture there's a trade-off and that balance should shift over time.

CAMEROTA: Have you heard from any of your patients' family members.

LAMAS: As a result of this piece? I have not. And, you know, I think -- I think I wrote at the end that I'm not sure they would even recognize my name and sort of that was, you know, a write-in kind of tool. But also it was true. I think that we have been so disjointed from patients, from their families. You know, shift work makes us disjointed to begin with, but not knowing people, not seeing them face to face, you're a voice on the phone when people are terrified. I don't really know if they necessarily know the specific name of somebody. So I haven't heard from them. I hope people who read it, whether or not I cared for their loved ones, found it meaningful.

CAMEROTA: Dr. Daniela Lamas, we really appreciate you giving us your firsthand experience and people can read your letter in "The New York Times." Thanks so much for joining us.

LAMAS: Thank you.


BERMAN: A lot of new developments in the pandemic and economic crisis. Here's what else to watch today.


ON SCREEN TEXT: Soon, New York Gov. Cuomo briefing.

2:00 p.m. ET, White House briefing.

3:00 p.m. ET, California Gov. Newsom briefing.


BERMAN: Some music can help bring comfort during this pandemic, and you're about to get a whole lot of comfort. Yo-yo Ma joins us live with a tribute to those who have lost and those who are still fighting, next.



CAMEROTA: We have an extra special "Good Stuff" this morning.

Look at this baby. We want to welcome the newest member of our NEW DAY family. This is Miles Spencer Peterson (ph). He was born Monday to our beloved senior producer Meredith Richards. Miles was 8 pounds, 5 ounces. We are told that baby Miles, mom and dad are all happy and healthy. Oh, my gosh, look at how cute.

BERMAN: He really is -- he's beautiful.

CAMEROTA: He's beautiful.

Congratulations to Meredith and her husband Todd.

BERMAN: He looks very happy. He's smiling. He's very happy with the lineup and rundown that Meredith put together for us today.

CAMEROTA: You're right, he looks very placid and serene, which is not normally how television producers look, but he looks that way.

BERMAN: Our congratulations to them.

So in difficult times people turn to the arts for comfort and a sense of normalcy. Artists and musicians can impact us in ways that others cannot. In that spirit, Yo-Yo Ma, one of the world's most famous classical musicians, will be performing the Bach Suites this Sunday as a memorial for lives lost to the coronavirus pandemic.

And joining us now is Yo-Yo Ma.

Thank you very much for coming on this morning. It's an honor to have you on.

YO-YO MA, GRAMMY AWARD-WINNING CELLIST: Hi, John, it's great to see you. And congratulations to Miles, who looks very cute.

BERMAN: He does look very cute.

So, listen, one of the things that we can't do during this pandemic is give people a hug. I mean if there were ever a time when people needed a physical hug, it would be now. We can't do it. But, in a way, what you're trying to do this weekend is give people a musical hug. Explain.

MA: Well, I think music is actually a physical activity. It moves air and I think music can caress. So it can hug. I think because the air moves and you feel you are touched. Literally, touched by the air that moves around you. And so I think it is something that gives comfort, and human comfort.

And so I think music actually was invented to fulfill certain needs of people. And so this -- what I'm trying to do is just have -- give an offering of music to -- for comfort, for connection, and to create the community that we can't actually have right now physically, but we can do it through music.


BERMAN: And this is going to be quite an operation for you this Sunday. You're going into a studio, WGBH, a television studio in Boston. It's going to be, what, cleaned and empty for two days before you go in. You're going in all by yourself. How is this going to work?

MA: Well, I think apparently I'm not going to see a living soul. I'm walking into a studio that's been -- that nobody's been in for days. And basically I'll open the cello case and play. And then after I'm -- I finished, I'm going to leave the room. So there will be absolutely no human contact.

And the folks at GBH and HRB are fantastic people. And they've worked so hard to make sure that this is absolutely safe. And so we're -- we're following all the sort of -- the regulations. And -- but we're able to do something, especially during Memorial Day weekend. And I think on Sunday afternoon is a good time to, you know, to give a message of comfort and maybe a message of consolation for people that have -- are mourning, but also to give a little bit of hope.

BERMAN: Now, I'm sure you must have canceled dozens and dozens of performances over, you know, hundreds of countries and thousands of continents during this pandemic. But how have you been navigating personally these last two months?

MA: Well, one thing that changed, and this is the personal part is, my normal has always been to travel. And I have never been home for so long. And so being home is a new experience. And that part has been wonderful.

However, just reading the news and finding out about who has been affected I think has led me to try and -- to use whatever I do, you know, which is music, to do Zoom calls and to, you know, hospital rooms, or to classrooms, for graduations, for patients, for health workers who are, you know, and so I'm trying to do this kind of work through the medium of, you know, technology and to try and reach people. And I think that's, you know, that's what we can do. And I think everybody is trying to do what they can do to help. And I think that's -- that's what gives me hope and energy and motivation.

BERMAN: You've chosen Bach -- you've chosen Bach to play on Sunday, which I know is special of you -- for you. And I know also encompasses just the wide range of emotions we're all feeling right now.

MA: Well, I think the music of Bach is especially appropriate because I think it's -- it's music that can soothe, can console, and can also bolster. And I think it does encompass the full range of human emotion and of what humans relationships are with nature and the universe. And I think this is something that we're all thinking about, worried about, contemplating, and working hard and using all the tools and (INAUDIBLE) gives us to try and make a better world.

BERMAN: We can all listen to Yo-Yo Ma's special live performance honoring those we've lost in this pandemic this Sunday at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time on many public radio stations nationwide, or you can watch it live on Yo-Yo Ma's YouTube Channel worldwide. And if you're in Boston, you can watch on WGBH.

And now, because you're incredibly generous and we're thrilled, you're going to play us a little something.

MA: Absolutely. That will be the first movement of the first Bach suite.

Here goes.