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Inside Texas Hospital on the Brink of Capacity; French Prime Minister Philippe Resigns; Police Unions Accused of Shielding Brutal Cops; FedEx Asks Washington Redskins to Change Team Name. Aired 4:30- 5a ET

Aired July 3, 2020 - 04:30   ET



NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to our viewers here in the U.S. and all around the world, I'm Natalie Allen. This is CNN NEWSROOM.

As the U.S. gets ready for the July 4th holiday, more than 52,000 Americans tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. It is the highest one-day total to date. Florida set its own record on Thursday with more than 10,000 new cases. An 11-year-old boy in Miami is believed to be the youngest person to die of the disease in the U.S.

And here's another example of trying to prevent more cases. Chicago trying to block people from virus hot spots. The city has identified 15 U.S. states that pose a risk and ordered visitors from those places to quarantine for two weeks. Also Texas and Kansas are the latest states to require facemasks in public. Joining 17 other states and also Washington, D.C.

The numbers do not reveal the tragic reality inside many U.S. hospitals as they near capacity, local health care sources are being pushed to their breaking point. CNN's Miguel Marquez takes us inside one hospital in Texas.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): San Antonio Methodist hospital, the lunges of a 29-year-old badly damaged by the coronavirus need a CAT scan. Patients so critically ill, what should be easy takes enormous coordination and a small army just to get them from A to B.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are having an explosion of COVID. We aren't overrun yet, but it's overwhelming.

MARQUEZ: Overwhelming now and expected to get worse in the days ahead. San Antonio's Bear County has seen a sharp rise in the percent of those testing positive for the virus. In just the last 30 days, the weekly average of those testing positive has gone from 3.6 percent to more than 20 percent.

So many infections increasingly moms to be infected with the coronavirus. Methodist Hospital now has a dedicated unit in its NICU for babies born to mothers who have it.

(on camera): That picture that every mom wants of the baby being born in holding the baby, does that happen with babies in COVID?

MEAGAN VANDEWARK, NICU CHARGE NURSE, SAN ANTONIO METHODIST HOSPITAL: Unfortunately, no. We have to -- as soon the baby is born, they do bring them right to us outside of the door. So, it's just a very brief moment that the mom might get a glimpse.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): In the womb the virus isn't typically transmitted from mother to child, but during the birthing process, the risk of infection goes up, and treating newborns with a coronavirus, much more complicated. Though these babies have tested negative, they are treated as suspect positive. Health care workers wear full PPE. And these babies born to moms with the coronavirus are kept separated from others, just in case.

(on camera): You have five babies in here right now?


MARQUEZ: You have room for 16.


MARQUEZ: Do you think you're going to be full up?

VANDEWARK: I do. The way things are going, we're admitting pretty frequently, yes.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Christy Labastida, only 36-years-old is expecting her fourth child. Both she and her fiancee, have the coronavirus.

CHRISTY LABASTIDA, COVID-19 PATIENT: Mainly the thing that really hurt was my bones were just -- I couldn't lay down, it was just hurting.

MARQUEZ (on camera): Your bones?

LABASTIDA: My bones. It just --

MARQUEZ: Like your entire skeleton, your body.

LABASTIDA: Like my bones -- yes, even to my pinky of my toes.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Pregnancy hard enough without that. She took precautions and isn't sure how she got it, now only hoping she recovers and she, her three kids and fiancee are coronavirus free, by the time she gives birth in about a month.

LABASTIDA: I'm extremely stressed. I'm a very strong woman, I tend to do a lot, and now that I can't and I need that help, it's taking a toll.

MARQUEZ: Methodist Hospital maybe seeing the beginning of a sharp increase nation-wide of moms with coronavirus giving birth.

DR. KELLY MORALES, OBSTETRICIAN/GYNECOLOGIST, SAN ANTONIO METHODIST HOSPITAL: There's actually some literature out there to support it to a 30 percent asymptomatic rate. So that means --

MARQUEZ (on camera): 30 percent?

MORALES: 30 percent asymptomatic rate.

MARQUEZ: Of moms coming in?

MORALES: Of moms coming in.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Pregnancy and coronavirus only one piece of the pandemic. Methodist Hospital treating a rising tides of critically sick patients.

DR. JEFFREY DELLAVOLPE, PULMONARY PHYSICIAN, SAN ANTONIO METHODIST HOSPITAL: The last few weeks has just been overwhelming is how I would describe it. There's been more and more patients than we really know what to do with. The patients are getting younger and they're more sick. And --


MARQUEZ (voice-over): How much younger?

DELLAVOLPE: It's gone from, you know, probably 50s and 60s for the first wave to -- I lost track of how many 20 -- people in their 20s.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): This is Methodist's COVID Unit II. It's one of three specialized COVID units at the hospital. Patient rooms sealed off, each one turned into negative pressure chambers, so staff only need to don PPE if they go into one of the bays.

MARQUEZ (on camera): So you have 14 rooms, how many are filled?



SAHYOUNI: With a waiting list.

MARQUEZ: How long is that list?

SAHYOUNI: It's long.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): The hospital is creating more beds, but for now this is where the sickest of the sick are treated.

DELLAVOLPE: Yesterday was probably one of my worst days that I've ever had.

MARQUEZ (on camera): Why? DELLAVOLPE: I got 10 calls, all of whom young people who otherwise would be excellent candidates to be able to put on ECMO. They're so sick if they don't get put on, they don't get that support, they're probably going to die. I had three beds. And making that decision, being able to figure out who really is going to benefit. It is a level of decision making that I don't think a lot of us are prepared for.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Those calls coming from other hospitals across South Texas with patients so sick that Methodist may be their last hope.

Methodist Hospital uses a procedure to oxygenate the blood and keep patients off ventilators. It's called ECMO or Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation. Today Dr. Dellavolpe is inserting large tubes in the veins of a 33-year-old. They run from the groin all the way to the heart, the blood comes out of the body is mechanically oxygenated, then returned back to the heart almost immediately. The Methodist team has had a lot of practice, the procedure taking only a few minutes.

DELLAVOLPE: It involves being able to take a large (INAUDIBLE) -- they're almost like small garden hoses is how I would describe them. They have to be able to pump about two or three gallons of blood per minute through them. So, one is draining blood out, and the other one is return.

MARQUEZ: The blood coming out of the patient is dark. It just looks unhealthy. The blood returning is bright red, loaded with oxygen. Almost immediately oxygen level in the patient's blood goes back to near normal. Their chance of survival now better than if they were on a ventilator.

DELLAVOLPE: I think the ventilator really causes a lot of harm. We're finding that causes harm in general, but it certainly causes harm when we're talking about patients with COVID.

MARQUEZ (on camera): Because their lungs are so weak to begin with?

DELLAVOLPE: Because their lungs are so weak and because probably there's other reasons why patients are having trouble.

MARQUEZ: The ventilator is pushing oxygen into the lung.

DELLAVOLPE: That's right.

MARQUEZ: Into damaged lungs.

DELLAVOLPE: That's right. So not only are you having all of the problems with the blood vessels and the clotting in your blood vessels, not only are you have having all of the problems of oxygen not being able to get to your organs and organs shutting down from that. But now you're artificially pushing air into your lungs and causing more damage that way.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Another hard lesson that the pandemic and the virus healthcare providers everywhere are still struggling to understand. SAHYOUNI: We don't quite understand why one person with lab values of X does well, while a person with lab values that appear to be better doesn't make it. And a mask is not a big ask to help save your life.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): The work and stress for healthcare workers everywhere crushing with rates of infection rising, they expect more work and stress ahead.

Stressful for patients as well, who are sick, isolated from everyone.

MARQUEZ (on camera): How tough is it to be in your room all day just sitting there?

MICHAEL VASQUEZ, COVID-19 PATIENT: Oh, man, if you could just hear that unit in the room, it will drive you nuts at first, but you get past it.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): 28-year-old Michael Vasquez works in a warehouse. He isn't sure how he got sick. He's part of a new program here to get patients up and walking as soon as possible, even a little bit helping both physically and mentally.

(on camera): What has it done to your lungs?

VASQUEZ: Really made them fatigue, really bad, with the -- sorry--

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Vasquez isn't sure if there will be any long- term effects to his lungs. Right now he's focused on getting home to his wife and 7-year-old son.

VASQUEZ: I just miss, you know, their presence there. You know, miss holding your wife, kissing your son goodnight, going to his room, making sure he is OK. I miss that a lot.

DR. MISHA PETER, PULMONARY CRITICAL CARE, SAN ANTONIO METHODIST HOSPITAL: We know that when people walk, when people sleep better, when people see bright light, they get better sooner. We know all of this. I think on some level, we're having to re-learn it with COVID, because of our response to it. You know, obviously, our need to keep ourselves safe, to keep staff safe.


So, it's not unexpected that we kind of ended up isolating people, whether we meant to or not.

MARQUEZ: Another lesson of the pandemic trying to reduce recovery times and free up beds badly needed for an expected growing surge of people seriously sick with the coronavirus.

DR. JENNIFER GEMMILL, EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT PHYSICIAN MEDICAL DIRECTOR: Right now we are so full upstairs that we are having some delays in getting the patients upstairs because there just aren't beds that are prepared and ready for COVID patients. So, we are holding a lot of them in the emergency department right now. Some for hours, some for days. MARQUEZ: What's driving the surge here? Doctors aren't entirely sure, but based on what they hear from patients, there was a sense that the worst was behind us.

GEMMILL: I don't think that there was one specific incidence that really let to this spike. I think people after March and April were extremely frustrated with being inside and as soon as those restrictions lifted, they wanted to get out, some protected themselves, some didn't, and now we're just seeing the results of that.

MARQUEZ: With the holiday weekend coming up, the fear now the surge of patients will become a tidal wave.

SAHYOUNI: I don't think I've seen anything like this ever. And I would say that if you want to see August 1st, then maybe you should stay indoors and isolate on July 4th.

MARQUEZ: Miguel Marquez, CNN, San Antonio, Texas.


ALLEN: It's unbelievable how many people it takes to help one person in that hospital.

We have this just into CNN. We've learned that the Prime Minister France has just resigned. Edouard Philippe has handed his resignation to French President Emmanuel Macron who has accepted it. That according to the Elysee Palace. It comes as Mr. Macron began a reshuffle of his cabinet as a result of the coronavirus and recent local elections. Other cabinet changes also expected. Mr. Macron is expected to announce a new Prime Minister in the coming hours.

Next here, Police officers still on the job after committing potentially fireable offenses. All because of the power of police unions. We'll have a full report.



ALLEN: Nationwide protests against police brutality in the U.S. are putting pressure on local law enforcement leaders to reform their departments, but it is the police unions that ultimately shields many misbehaving officers from accountability. Our senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin has our report.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The words coming out of the San Antonio police officer's mouth are awful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know what's (BEEP)? The way you were raised.

GRIFFIN: A young black man in a San Antonio Texas mall in 2018 is being arrested for trespassing. When he asked why, the officer says this.


GRIFFIN: As shocking as it sounds, the bigger shock is the officer is still on the job.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can get out. But don't run. Do something.

GRIFFIN: So is an officer who uncuffed a man and challenged him to a fistfight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- often I'm going to beat you out. That's what I'm going to do.

GRIFFIN: An officer who tried to give a homeless man a sandwich made of feces had his firing overturned. It took a second poop incident to get rid of him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You react, I react.

GRIFFIN: These officers and many others were fired and all of them got their jobs back thanks to a police union contract and state law that leaves final punishment of law officers in the hand of an arbitrator who is often chosen in a way that favors the police.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg has had enough.

RON NIRENBERG, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS MAYOR: Now these are crimes of moral turpitude. And you would expect that in any profession that bears the weight of public accountability, that this would be a one-and-done type offense.

Yet, the cases in which the chiefs' discipline has been cleared, have been overturned in these arbitration hearings, and people are rightly outraged by it.

GRIFFIN: Fired San Antonio police officers were able to get their jobs back in 42 percent of the cases that went through arbitration. That includes one cop who was reportedly fired six times.

NIRENBERG: It's egregious.

STEPHEN RUSHIN, PROFESSOR, LOYOLA UNIVERSITY: San Antonio is one of the most deferential to law enforcement interests.

GRIFFIN: Loyola University professor Stephen Rushin analyzed more than 650 police union contracts.

RUSHIN: We have across the country and many cities made bad deals with police unions. Bad deals that make it difficult for us to investigate police misconduct.

GRIFFIN: The bad deals, according to Rushin, include giving the officer 48 hours or longer before being questioned, allowing officers to see all the evidence before being questioned, ignoring an officer's past disciplinary actions, and in some cases, banning any discipline where complaints aren't filed in a timely fashion.

L. SONG RICHARDSON, U.C. IRVINE SCHOOL OF LAW: And frankly, police unions have much more protection than other governments or other public unions.

GRIFFIN: Case in point, Minneapolis. The officer charged with murdering George Floyd had a long history of complaints but was still on the force. A CNN analysis found just 1.5 percent of the thousands of complaints filed against Minneapolis police in recent years resulted in any serious discipline.


GRIFFIN: Former Minneapolis mayor, R.T. Rybak fought his city's police union for years.

RYBAK: So it's the time right now for elected officials to stop treating them like a traditional union.

GRIFFIN: The unions, of course, tell a different story. Detective Mike Helle is president of San Antonio's Police Officer's Association.

MIKE HELLE, PRESIDENT, SAN ANTONIO POLICE OFFICER'S ASSOCIATION: Is police reform necessary? Sure it is. Do we need to have transparency? You bet we do. We should always have transparency in our police departments.

But the thing that we or and have negotiated for and we continue to hope for is that we just have a fair process, right?

GRIFFIN: Helle believes the current contract is fair, the state protections for police are balanced, and told us there is currently not a single bad cop on the San Antonio police force.

HELLE: There's nobody that wants bad cops on our department.

GRIFFIN (on camera): Do you believe him? That -- that the union doesn't want these bad cops on the force.

NIRENBERG: I want to believe him. But until these provisions change, then we are left in the situation where it looks like the union politics is against the general public's best interest.

GRIFFIN: There is already a push to change both state and federal law in regard to police reform, but experts say changing police union contracts is much tougher, requires lots of public and local political support. In Minneapolis, that is taking place right now. San Antonio's contract is up next year.

Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.


ALLEN: Shipping giant Federal Express is asking the Washington Redskins to change its controversial team name.


The move comes after a group of investors sent a letter to the FedEx CEO calling on the company to cut its business ties to the NFL franchise. FedEx has a long-term contract to put its name on team's stadium. The letter calls the name Redskins -- the mascot name -- a dehumanizing word and a racial slur with hateful connotations. Pepsi and Nike, the team's drinks partner and uniform supplier receives similar letters. Neither has responded to CNN's request for comment.

20 Saudis are now on trial in absentia in Turkey in connection with the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The former security official and a former aide to the Saudi Crown Prince are among those charged. Khashoggi was last seen in October 2018 after visiting the Saudi consulate right there in Istanbul. He's believed to have been killed inside. He had gone there to get documents for his wedding. Khashoggi's fiancee took to the stand at the proceedings a short time ago.

Next here, as many parents have discovered, working from home with children can be, well, difficult. Two moms shared their new normal with the world.



ALLEN: Two moms doing live TV interviews found out just how tough it can be during the pandemic when working from home with kids. On Wednesday both of their children interrupted them in two separate interviews on the BBC and Sky News. Take a look.


CHRISTIAN FRASER, BBC NEWS: OK, so, obviously --



S. WENHAM: I need his name already.

FRASER: Do stop me if you need to crack on. Do tell us.

C. WENHAM: No, I'm doing -- shh.

S. WENHAM: What's his name?

FRASER: My name is Christian.

S. WENHAM: What's his name?

WENHAM: His name is Christian.

S. WENHAM: Christian?


S. WENHAM: I'm just deciding where it can go and where Mommy wants it to go.

FRASER: Right, where does Mommy want you to go?

S. WENHAM: Where do you want this to go?

C. WENHAM: I think just on that shelf is great. Thank you. I'm so sorry.

FRASER: This is the most informative interview I've done all day.

DEBORAH HAYNES, FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT, SKY NEWS: -- David Cameron was talking about -- oh, I'm really sorry. That's my son arriving. Sorry, really embarrassing. Sorry.

Hold on one second.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can I have two biscuits?

HAYNES: Yes, you can have two biscuits.


ALLEN: Later in a tweet that Sky News correspondent confirmed her son did get his two biscuits thanks to his high stakes negotiating. Live on TV you get what you want.

I'm Natalie Allen. I invite you to follow me on Instagram or Twitter. I'll see you this time tomorrow. Thanks so much for watching. "EARLY START" is next.