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Hospitals Losing Millions Of Dollars In Fight Against Virus; Cases Surge To All-Time High As U.S. Heads Into July 4th Weekend; Brazil Reopens As COVID-19 Cases Near 1.5M, Experts Warn Worst Yet To Come; NFL's Washington Redskins To Undergo "Thorough" Review Of Name. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired July 3, 2020 - 12:30   ET




SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): To hospitals across Michigan, both rural and metropolitan.

ROBERT CASALOU, REGIONAL PRESIDENT & CEO, TRINITY MICHIGAN SOUTHEAST REGION: Our revenue went down immediately 60 percent, I mean overnight.

SIDNER (voice-over): The American Hospital Association estimates that hospitals and health systems will have losses this is year of $323.1 billion. The hospitals that saw a surge of patients, and the ones that did not, resulting in real life impact for some health care workers.

ELISE HOLLENBECK, FURLOUGHED NURSE: Being a nurse, I never thought that I would be on unemployment, ever.

SIDNER (voice-over): But that is what happened to Elise Hollenback, a nurse and mother of two in Empire, Michigan.

HOLLENBECK: I get really emotional thinking about it for my kids. You know, what is their reality now going to look like?

SIDNER (voice-over): Her reality changed when the hospitals didn't see a coronavirus surge but had to abide by the state orders suspending medical procedures and surgeries that kept the hospital in good financial health. Less work meant furloughs even as coronavirus spiked across her state.

HOLLENBECK: I have no idea what our life will look like.

SIDNER (on-camera): Harder life?

HOLLENBECK: Yes. Yes. Different. Harder.

SIDNER (voice-over): It seems counter-intuitive. But during a pandemic, hospitals would lose money. But here's what's happened. MICHAEL DOWLING, CEO, NORTHWELL HEALTH: The reason for that of two fold. One is that we canceled most of the other services, including most surgery, to be able to accommodate COVID patients.

SIDNER (voice-over): The other reason, hospitals say they generally lose money treating COVID-19 patients because it rounds mounds of personal protective equipment, its staff intensive and creates the need to retrofit areas to protect everyone.

DR. JEFF TOMLIN, CEO, EVERGREENHEALTH: So we live on very thin margins in the world of healthcare. And for something like this it's really apocalyptic in terms of what it means.

SIDNER (voice-over): And if that's not bad enough, as hospitals reopen for all manner of emergencies and surgeries --

(on-camera): This place looks pretty empty.


SIDNER (on-camera): Is this normal?


SIDNER (voice-over): The public isn't showing up, even when they need to.

HANSON: That's one of our concerns is we know there are people having strokes, having chest pain, having, you know, pneumonias, appendicitis and they're not really coming in.

SIDNER (voice-over): Sara Sidner, CNN, Seattle, Washington.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: Wow. Thanks, Sara.

Coming up for us, celebrating July 4th during a pandemic. The changes you may want to make to holiday plans to protect yourself and those you love.

A quick programming note, Dana Bash and Don Lemon, they'll be hosting CNN's Fourth of July in America. An evening of fireworks and an all- star musical lineup. It all begins tomorrow, 8:00 p.m. Eastern.



BOLDUAN: The mayor of Miami Beach has this message for, really, everyone ahead of the July 4th holiday. There is nothing more American than staying home to protect yourself and others. But more likely, for being honest, many people are planning to not be staying home, already planning a barbecue or a gathering or planning to head to the beach or the pool. How do you do this right? How do you keep yourself safe, and those you love safe?

Here with me is CNN Contributor Erin Bromage, Biology Professor specializing in immunology at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. Erin, thank you for being here. You have been able to do what few people have been able to do. Explain in very clear terms how the virus spreads and where the risks really are.

I wanted to get your take on this weekend, on this holiday. I've heard people wondering, first and foremost on pools, is it safe to be in a pool with bunch of other people?

ERIN BROMAGE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: It can be safer. It's not safe. Nothing that we do during a pandemic when we bring people together is safe. But we can do things safer. We still need to maintain that physical distance of at least six feet between different households. If we get too close, those respiratory droplets can pass from one person to another and you end up an infection establishing.

I'm not worried about it transmitting through the water. We don't typically drink gallons and gallons of pool water from that. I'm more worried about getting too close in conversations when we are in the pool.

BOLDUAN: You clearly haven't met my two-year old when you're talking about how much pool water someone consumes, but you're absolutely right. Officials in states like Florida and California are closing beaches this weekend. What is the safest way, though, to be at the beach? Because so many other beaches as we've seen around the country are not closing.

BROMAGE: Yes. So every county, every state is a little different. You know, there's wildfires of infections burning in Arizona or in Texas. It's beginning in California. We're seeing it in areas of Florida. So we have to take different precautions in those particular areas because there just appears to be so many people infected right now.

But in other areas of the country where we have contained the infections through social distancing and mask use, heading to the beach is not necessarily a risky endeavor. Maintain your space at all times when you're heading down to the beach and when you're on the beach. Just create that physical distance between you and members of other households. And then just enjoy the time that you have there.

BOLDUAN: Yes. What about barbecues? Should people be grilling? Can we cook food and serve it to our friends safely? Or is the risk still too high?

BROMAGE: Again, it's very regional. In a pandemic, we shouldn't be gathering. I mean, it just -- we are giving the virus the fuel that it needs to move between others. But like you said at the introduction, people are going to gather. So we need to do this as safely as we possibly can.


Limit the number of households that you bring together. Every extra household you bring is an extra risk that you are bringing in that you are going to infect or they are going to infect you. Know your numbers, as in what does your state look like now?

There are certain regions of the country, Arizona, where you just should not be gathering at all. But if you come to, for example, Massachusetts where we've done incredibly well, we can start pulling two families, maybe three families together and just make the event safer through physical distancing, through making sure that our seats are separated further apart, that we're not sharing serving utensils. That we just have thought about how to put it together. But we can definitely make it safer in those areas where community transmission is low.

BOLDUAN: Not sharing serving utensils is something I could see not remembering that level of precaution but that's a great point. Connecticut and New Jersey, they're allowing outdoor amusement parks to reopen just in time for this weekend. Do you think that is safe? It is outdoors, right, but you're getting on a roller coaster, or a ride in a park with a bunch of strangers you'd assume.

BROMAGE: After the sacrifices, those states have gone through with the population, with, you know, stay-at-home orders and people losing their jobs, this just seems reckless to me. I know it seems fun. But you put a person at the front of the roller coaster enjoying their ride, screaming and yelling, what is coming out of their mouth is hitting the people directly behind them.

When you start standing in lines for an extended period waiting to get on ride, we know that that leads to infections. We've seen it with elections where people have been infected while waiting in lines to come up and vote. So there's just so many things that are not right about this from an infection control standpoint. I don't understand that logic.

BOLDUAN: What are your thoughts on public bathrooms right now?

BROMAGE: So public bathrooms are sort of this black hole of understanding with the coronavirus. We know a person that is infectious does actually release infectious viral material in their feces. We know that when you flush a toilet, there is a thing called a toilet plume that sends what's in that bowl up into the air.

So theoretically, there is a risk associated with bathrooms and those toilet plumes. But if they were a real driver of infection, we probably would see that more in the data. And so far, there's only been one possible association that has been reported to date. So, treat them with caution. But they're not something that we should be running away from actively if we need to use them.

BOLDUAN: You're now making me though more averse. Thinking about the flush plume makes me more averse to public bathrooms yet again. Thank you so much, Erin, I really appreciate it. I hope you have a very safe holiday.

BROMAGE: You're welcome, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Thank you.

BROMAGE: You too.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next, a warning from health officials, why reopening Rio de Janeiro is being described as, quote, sending the population to the slaughterhouse.



BOLDUAN: Brazil is one of the countries hit hardest around the world by the coronavirus pandemic, second to the United States in the number of COVID cases. And even though health experts are warning it is still too soon for Brazil the reopen, officials are moving toward that. Large cities like Rio de Janeiro allowing restaurants, gyms and bars to reopen now.

CNN's Shasta Darlington is live in Sao Paulo. Shasta, one modelling expert has put it this way, reopening like this is sending people to the slaughterhouse. What is going on?

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Kate. And if you see pictures of what Rio looked like last night, you really get a sense of people not wearing masks, patrons at bars spilling out onto the sidewalk. You know, more than 61,000 people have already died from COVID-19 here in Brazil. The peak isn't expected until about mid-August. But with the country bracing for what's expected to be the worst recession on record, several cities are already relaxing restrictions.


DARLINGTON (voice-over): Dining in front of Rio's famed shores, patrons attempt a return to normalcy. As Brazil's second largest city reopens for business.

ALINE DA SILVA, BAR MANAGER (through translation): We just opened after almost four months of being closed. Now we're coming back.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): On Thursday, Rio de Janeiro entered its latest stage of reopening, allowing restaurants, bars and cafes to accept a limited number of customers with social distancing rules in place. Residents can also return to the gym. Rio is joining other cities around Brazil in the phased reopening, as the world's second worst hit country sees coronavirus cases nearing 1.5 million, with a steady increase in new daily infections.

ROBERTO MEDRONHO, RESEARCH DIRECTOR, CLEMENTINO FRAGA FILHO UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL (through translation): We have the problem of people who are going to work because the economy is being reopened. If they become infected, they will take this infection to their relatives, many of them elderly, many of them with complex health issues.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): Despite warnings from experts, many regional leaders are desperate as finances plummet and unemployment soars. [12:50:04]

Now millions of Brazil's informal workers face a stark choice -- go to work and risk infection or go hungry.

MATIAS SANTOS, FOOD DELIVERY WORKER (through translation): We are totally exposed to the coronavirus every day without any protection. And because companies do not deliver masks, we have to make our own mask or buy them and buy hand sanitizer.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): As coronavirus wreaks havoc on Brazil's already fragile economy, it aggravates some of the country's chronic problems. In the Amazon rainforest, deforestation is surging. Environmental activists warn illegal loggers and ranchers, burning more land as the pandemic stretches official resources.

That may be responsible for jump in fires, the most in June since 2007. Now, fears are rising of a coming dry season. With more smoke posing respiratory dangers.

CARLOS SOZA JR., MEMBER, INSTITUTE OF PEOPLE AND THE ENVIRONMENT OF THE AMAZON (through translation): Flash and burn clearing of land already represents a serious health problem. If we have land clearing and COVID-19 together, this could mean catastrophic consequences for the region.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): A burning Amazon also adds to threats facing indigenous populations, where COVID-19 is sweeping through communities. Brazil's government has sent medical workers and military to help protect some isolated tribes. But the virus has already infected thousands of tribe members and killed dozens. That's according to the government's special indigenous health service.

The indigenous population now part of a grim milestone. On Wednesday, Brazil reached more than 60,000 coronavirus deaths. A tribute to those victims lit on Christ the Redeemer, Rio's famed statue acknowledging the morbid toll of COVID-19 as the city reopens amid crisis.


DARLINGTON: Now, the main proponent of opening here in Brazil has been the President himself, Jair Bolsonaro, who has repeatedly downplayed the virus, calling it a little flu, and insisting that hunger and unemployment could kill more people than COVID-19. But experts say this premature reopening could make it hard to ignore the deadly impact and that we could really see rather than a second wave, just a prolongation of that first wave, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. Shasta, thank you.

Coming up next, this just into CNN, a big announcement from the NFL Commissioner about the Washington Redskins and the team's name. After years of criticism, is change coming?



BOLDUAN: This just in. The Washington Redskins now says that it is going to be reviewing the team's name, a thorough review, as it put it. But it's been criticized for years of course. The team name as being racist. But in this moment now of national reckoning now on race, is this time different.

CNN's Sport Correspondent Carolyn Manno, she's joining me now. Carolyn, what's motivating this this time? What are you hearing?

CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're hearing, Kate, just a little over an hour ago that the team released a statement saying that they've been having internal discussions about this over the last couple of weeks and that they are prepared to take a very close look at a name change which runs completely contrary to what team owner Dan Snyder has been saying for years that he absolutely unequivocally would never change the name of the franchise. But I do want to read you a little bit of what he said today.

So he says, "This process allows the team to take into account not only the proud tradition and history of the franchise, but also input from our alumni, the organization, sponsors, the NFL and local community it is proud to represent on and off the field". NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell quickly added his support to this team's announcement, Kate, also saying in his statement, "In the last few weeks, we have had ongoing discussions with Dan, and we are supportive of this important step".

The mention of sponsors, Kate, in Snyder's remarks is especially important here because like I said, this is a conversation that's been reignited again and again and again. With Adweek recently reporting that investment firms totaling excess of $600 billion have threatened to really just pull out of the franchise if they don't find brands that align with things like diversity and inclusivity. The things that matter to them now that it's going to be a real problem for them and that's a very loud alarm bell for a team owner particularly around a pandemic.

BOLDUAN: Yes, that's for sure. Also the corona -- the pandemic is doing away it appears with another summer tradition this year. What are you hearing about Major League Baseball's All Star game?

MANNO: Yes, it's being shelled for now, unfortunately, the first time that's happened since 1945. It was scheduled to go on July 14th, it was scheduled to be at Dodger Stadium. They had waiting for decades for that, but it's just another one of those things on the sporting calendar, Kate, that has fallen away. They are trying to get a season together as we speak the first day of spring training, so we still have the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. So that's --

BOLDUAN: That's for sure. That's what I was actually just going to inform you. Great to see you, Carolyn. Thank you.

The one summer tradition that is still on is the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. The Fourth of July tradition is going to go on tomorrow but with changes because of COVID. It's going to take place in a private location. No crowd watching. Only five competitors are going to be eating at a time instead of the customary 15 to allow for social distancing.

Last year's champions, Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo who ate up to 71 and 31 hot dogs respectively. They will be back.